And so with the weather gods just about favouring us one last time, we arrived on site for the last day of this seasons excavations. There was plenty still to do with four trenches open, three of which we were still excavating, so it was always going to be a busy day to get everything recorded and backfilled by the end of the day.
After a quick briefing Katie took new arrivals Jess and Andrew over to area 4a to continue the excavation of trench 17. The removal of some substantial boulders from the lower end of the trench brought them to a clay deposit and possible floor surface, that appeared to contain charcoal perhaps suitable for dating. Samples were taken but time constraints determined no further excavation could be carried out at this point and the task of recording began. The finding of charcoal from a floor surface of a round house, is a fantastic find and means that we have hopefully a datable domestic structure. Its typical all the best finds occur in the last few days.
The rest of the team were still in area 4 and Richard, Linda and Perry were able to complete the final section drawing on the clearance cairn before backfilling commenced in good time. The trio have done fine work in trench 14, all three taking it from de-turfing to backfilling and all stages in between. We must now cross out fingers and hope a date maybe forthcoming from our samples.
In trench 16 Brian and Astrid completed some final cleaning in the morning before here too recording began. This trench, which was located to investigate a possible clearance cairn lying within a coaxial bank, proved a little inconclusive in so much as the relationship between the two was not evident, but again it offers another opportunity to obtain dating from samples.
Both Simon and Keith returned today to inherit trench 15 following the departure of Carol and Cecilia yesterday. Cleaning the last of the soils from beneath the bank did not reveal any further arrow heads but the duo produced a fine section drawing illustrating the profile of the bank and its make up.
Meanwhile the trench 14 team finding themselves at a loose end after completing their own trench set off with Hannah to visit the site of a nearby long house just a couple of hundred metres away. The structure appears to be of great interest and had time allowed we would have placed a trench in this area too, but alas time had run out for this season and the team were recalled to help with the backfilling of the remaining trenches before dismantling the tent and heading back down the hill to the cars for the last time. Before we went there was just time for one last photo of the final days team.
The last two weeks have seen us excavate some fascinating archaeology ranging from the prehistoric to the medieval period and we have been lucky enough to meet some great people along the way. A big thankyou to all the volunteers from Andy, Katie and the rest of the OA team. It has been a pleasure to work with you all and see everyone’s passion for the archaeology of the local area. We look forward to seeing you all next year for our open area excavation.
from Andy, Kate and Jamie