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  • David Quick

Stroud dig Day 4

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

Well, it was good news and bad news for me today. The good news was that I found my precious and expensive Japanese thermos flask I thought I had lost. The bad news was that at the end of the day I split the seat of my trusty Rohan trousers that I have had for 25 years, despite their Kevlar reinforcement, so I had to walk quite carefully back to the car and have been sitting at home this evening sewing them up again. I have emailed Rohan asking if they are still under warranty.

As for archaeology, well, we had a slightly smaller team today but it was a very hard-working and determined crew who achieved a lot. We also had a number of visitors including Kat Wootton and Chris Snow from the village, who have been very helpful to us and were keen to see what we have been getting up to.

To start with, we had to park our cars in the farmyard in a different place today because the Farm was a hive of activity, with the harvest in full swing and lots of large agricultural vehicles rushing around, Then there was Juliet with the triceratops, and all the fire engines from the Fire Museum they have in storage...

Sadly the combine harvester is currently working on fields at Newton Valence, so it looks unlikely this week that we will be able to get on one of the fields we are really interested in, because the spring barley at Stroud is not going to be harvested this week. The Farm is huge - 3000 acres - so the crops are harvested in order of readiness.

At this stage it is perhaps worth including a video clip giving a guided tour of our site and its surrounds this afternoon:

Over in Test Pit 2, Pete and Ann continued their work and by the end of the day I think they were down about 90cm - mostly finding very solid clay but with occasional large pieces of Romano-British CBM, including a large tegula piece at the bottom.

Meanwhile in Test Pit 3 we had Liz working with Carol and Maria on an extended version of last year's final test pit, the initial task being to get down to about 60cm - the level where CBM was found last year. I was even persuaded to join in for a while. You can see the CBM starting to appear under the tarp in the front corner below.

In Test Pit 4 we had Dave working with Karen and Darcy, with Soo doing the finds recording. This is the pit that has really surprised and puzzled me, because we have been getting masses of CBM and building stone from just below the surface down to about 80cm so far, all looking like tumble.

You can see from some of the slideshow images above how large some of the pieces of very thick floor tile were.

By lunchtime it was getting very hot and humid again and some people took advantage of the break:

An idea that came out of the visits by Kat and Chris today was the suggestion that we do a talk for the villagers about what we have discovered in our 3 annual visits to Stroud on this project. I had a chat at the end of the day with Oliver, who is on the Parish Council, and if they are willing we may give a talk at their annual Parish Council meeting at the school next April.

To finish off this day's entry, here are some of our finds, including some different combed patterns on hypocaust tiles, some intriguing metal objects and a little piece of a jar or vase:

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