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  • David Quick

CM517 Days 7 & 8 - and it is starting to get interesting

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

Arriving on site at 0830 on Friday morning it was not exactly cold but you certainly felt the effects of the strong breeze blowing across the field from the north-east again. After topping up the petrol in the generator and filling up the water containers I opened up the Finds Tent and found that there had been some interesting small finds the previous day - some small metallic objects. Using the newly-acquired knowledge from our Finds Day School I cleaned these with acetone and then treated them with our new micro-crystalline wax to prevent any further corrosion, then recorded them as small finds.

There was not too much catching up to do of finds washing from the previous day, so I went and had a look at the Trench. As you can see from these photos, there was a smaller than expected digging team - 12 stalwarts instead of the 21 we had expected for the day.

We carried on steadily throughout the day with trying to see whether we had the full width of the enclosure ditch at the north end of Trench 'S', tidying up the sectioning of the post holes, continuing to investigate the platform of flints towards the southern end and handling the steady flow of finds.

So far we had not had as much building material as I remember from Trench 'Q' last year but we were nevertheless seeing lots of iron; plenty of pottery (but sadly mostly small sherds); some big bits of lead; lots of ironstone that looks confusingly like pottery when muddy; and some small fragments of glass.

By contrast on Saturday we had a huge team, including four new members. We joked that Juliet had to extend the Trench by one metre to the north to fit everyone in, but in reality the decision to extend was because it was clear we had not exposed the full width of the boundary ditch.

It was really good to have a catch-up with several people I had not seen for some time, including Carl who has managed to get two weeks off work; we were discussing completing the geophys of our Stroud site.

Soo was helping me in the Finds Tent and we had a steady flow of new finds today, mostly small bits of CBM and pottery. Soo was checked out on recording CBM finds and then Juliet asked me to go over and record the latest (4th) posthole.

There was a 5th posthole after this one but it has not been photographed yet. I then spent a little while taking photos of everyone hard at work. (Click on thumbnails to see larger versions).

During the afternoon some lovely finds started to arrive back at our tent: some large rims, some very big body sherds, pieces of a small jar, and the base of another jar. We are at last down to the interesting layers and it looks as though it is going to be a productive trench. At tea break in the afternoon I took the opportunity of lower wind speeds to put the drone up and get some updates of the trench from above and also our diggers sitting outside the marquee.

Just as I was leaving at 5pm I saw Barry in the northern end of the trench with his metal detector and it was squealing loudly. It will be interesting to see tomorrow morning whether he found anything significant.

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