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  • David Quick

CM519, Day 3

This morning I arrived on site to discover all the sheep had gone - Philip and Emma, the tenant farmers, had moved them yesterday, although the lambs are still in the next field and looking really cute.

David Pink had asked me to bring in all the finds from the autumn dig last year (CM918), in order that the Pottery Identification group could start work on them, so after signing in I unloaded all the trays from my car into the Finds Tent for him to collect tomorrow.

As expected at this stage of the dig, there were very few finds left overnight for me to process. After the morning briefing I gave a site brief to Ken, who had not been involved at Colemore before, then went over with him to the trenches. We had enough people for work in the three Evaluation Trenches and also Test Pit 61 today. There had been some charcoal found in EV1 and there were a couple of areas with slightly different soil colour. Work was still focused on tidying the edges and then getting a level base to each trench. The ground is still incredibly hard after last year's hot summer, so it was mattocks and spades rather than trowels to start with.

Just before lunch I flew a drone survey, where the drone flies a pre-programmed zigzag route at a height of 50 metres and automatically takes a vertical image every 5 seconds. When I get home I will process these using some very clever software called 3D Zephyr Pro, which not only stitches all 289 images together into a mosaic or 'orthophoto' of the dig site but also creates a detailed 3D model of it as well. The lovely people at this software company allow us a free educational licence for the software which normally costs £3900 + VAT.

During the lunch break, while the trenches were empty, I also took a few individual drone photos of the trenches and the site as seen here:

Evaluation Trench 1 (EV1), 10 x 1m

Evaluation Trench 2 (EV2), 10 x 1m

Evaluation Trench 3 (EV3), 10 x 1m

Test Pit 60 (TP60), 2 x 2m

Test Pit 61 (TP61), 2 x 2m

Site and trenches, looking north

Site and trenches, looking south

After lunch work started again in the trenches with Liz organising sondages in her trench, EV1.

In EV2, EV3 and TP61 the digging was only just below the level of the plough soil, so to be honest I could not make out any features yet.

The trench co-ordinates had not been measured in accurately as yet, so I could not start plotting them in QGIS Instead I went back to the tents and got on with jobs such as refilling the generator's fuel containers and having a general tidy The distance from marquee to furthest trench is about 400 metres and I was beginning to think I should bring a bike.

It is certainly impossible to hear the generator or a whistle from the trenches, so the walkie-talkie radios are coming in useful this time. Juliet's dog Mollie seemed to be enjoying the sunshine and watching us all attentively, although desperate to play.

I knocked off at 4.00pm to go and look after my grandson. I'm not due back on site until Saturday 3 May, so hopefully next update then - and maybe some finds to report. In the meantime I have a shopping list of things to get for the site: fire extinguisher, paper towels and more petrol for the generator.

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