The start of CM918 - the Colemore autumn dig
This afternoon a hardy group of half a dozen of us turned up at Colemore at lunchtime to survey and set up the grid for the start of excavations tomorrow, and to mark out the positions of the trenches in readiness for the mini-digger taking the turf off tomorrow.
Happily we saved a lot of time because the group that had done some high-resolution geophysics (resistivity and magnetometry) last Sunday had left pegs in the ground for the baseline and some of the grid squares. We were able to just put the usual red canes in the ground for those points.
After that it was a matter of using the EDM (electronic distance measuring machine) that I had borrowed from Carl to start putting in the pegs and canes for the grid squares either side of the north-south baseline. The EDM takes a little while to level and set up but then lets you measure right angles very precisely, as well as distances using its laser to centimetre accuracy.
This is the high-resolution resistivity plot of the area of interest from our work earlier this year and last Sunday:
You can see the position of Trench W from our Spring dig that had the interesting floor feature - see this link for a virtual 3D view of this feature. On the plot above you can see one part of the north-south 'ladder' enclosure ditch that we found intersected Trench W. Lots of other interesting features too,
Once we had set up the grid this afternoon, we then measured and marked out on the ground the intended locations of the six trenches and test pits for this dig. The locations have been chosen by Juliet, our Archaeology Director, based on both the resistivity and magnetometry plots.
It took several hours but the small team worked very well together, in spite of the very strong winds that were making it very difficult to even unreel a tape measure. So, all set for getting the equipment to site tomorrow. However, Juliet and I are keeping a close eye on the weather forecast which at the moment is predicting heavy rain until 6am tomorrow and then winds over 40mph from 11am to 3pm - which could make erecting tents and a marquee challenging, if not impossible. I don't envy David Bale camping at the dig site tonight!