Posted by Cathy - 18:04 on 21 July 2011
Another productive day with the weather gods being kind to us!
Our test pit 3 on top of the mound has shown up an interesting fill of stony rubble material so we cleaned up the surface photographed it and started to plan it. The depth of topsoil here approx 40cm (only a few meters from Trench 1 Area C) compared to the edge of the mound approx 5cm highlighted that it is likely that we have lost some topsoil and maybe archaeological material to water erosion in Area C which has a very thin topsoil layer in comparison. Due to the interesting spread of stone in the test pit we will complete planning tomorrow and then backfill - leaving the opportunity to explore this deposit further next year by opening a much wider area around the deposit to give us a clearer picture of what is going on and how it relates to the other parts of the site.
Area C planning was completed and with the chance to dry out the context differences were becoming more obvious. A new surface of stony deposit was appearing through the day and will be cleaned up tomorrow for photographing.
Meanwhile in Area B the planning of the trench was completed - we are now ready to half section our possible ditch at the base of the mound. Our half section will also aim to explore how far the stone layer stretches into the mound and whether it is structural erosion from the center of the mound or a dump of stone from elsewhere.
Trench 2: Allan continued coming down onto a stony spread in his test pit - a visit from Finn and Jacky who has been ploughing in the field for years confirmed that this was not a typical deposit to be found in this field. This gives us hope that we are coming across something archaeological rather than natural. We also got confirmation that we are in the right area to catch part of the field boundary that we think preserves the old routeway (although maybe moving 4-5m downslope will put us more squarely on the feature).
A new section has been started opposite Allan's test pit to give us an alternative section or profile to draw and this will help us record any small layers showing up in profile. Planning has a been completed on Trench 2 today so we have a nice record of the stony spreads we have been coming across.
So, all in all it has been a very useful day, clarifying that what we are digging is not a natural mound.
A small shower drove us to cover up the site half an hour early today so we had a small spot of sample flotation to end the day!
P.S. Sorry there are no photos - I have temporarily (I hope) lost the download cable for the camera. Doh!