It was wonderful to see so many people arrive this morning all eager to get started despite the atrocious weather! The day was started by a induction delivered by Duncan Coe about site safety an good practice and a talk given by Tom, both from Cotswold Archaeology, about the types of finds we are likely to encounter during our excavation and the finds processing techniques we need to implement to sort, clean where appropriate, label and store securely.
Whilst this was going ahead the first trenches over the villa were being opened by mechanical digger whilst the remaining trenches were being surveyed and flagged into the grid.
At long last the volunteers, who had been patiently watching as the digger cleared the first trenches were told to gather their gear and assigned the trenches to put their training into practice.
The weather was ‘challenging’ (!) to say the least but good progress was made and some lovely finds uncovered including 3 coins, a small 1st century brooch and a wonderful intact bone pin. A great start indeed.
A second wet day tried but failed to dampen spirits. It was decided to leave the large trench 2 alone to dry out a bit so trenches 4 and 5 were started. Trench 4, being in the middle of the main range may have an entrance, perhaps just coming into view and trench 5 showed a possible ‘dog leg’ in the external wall. As the weather cleared in the afternoon trench 3 was started which was placed over where we had dug in 2013 but only down to topsoil level to expose the tops of walls. This time we are extending the trench and going down deeper to explore amongst other things, whether it mirrors the northwest wing.
A small team worked enormously hard and very successfully in the barn to keep on top of the finds that were being generated.
The digger completed opening all the trenches with many really exciting prospects. Watch this space!