Some more exciting scraping of gravel for the team in trench 1, although features are also being excavated in an attempt to boost the flagging moral of the gravel scrapers. The problem with prehistory is that it tends to produce very little in the way of choice finds unless you are a metal detectorist, in which case you will constantly be putting Bronze Age axes into your swag bag. Our lot have to be content with bits of pottery the size of your fingernail, which look more like small blobs.
Mike digs a thrilling feature on day 14.
The Roman period on the other hand has cracking finds and the church trench is producing Roman pottery by the bucket load, presumably caused by graves being dug through the Roman levels that lie below the grave yard. Metal finds are limited and the trenches are thoroughly detected every day in case of raids by night hawks seeking to put the nation’s heritage on eBay. The foundations of the church are also showing nicely and seem to be made with good Roman stone, presumably quarried from the walls.
In trench 2, we continue to excavate the pits, sieving all the fills. Little is turning up in the sieves, surely a testament to the thoroughness of our excavators (or their fear of being mocked for missing something). A very nice copper nail scraper turns up in one of the pits, part of one of those Roman cosmetic sets that hang on little rings (tweezers, ear scoop, nail cleaner). Has to be said that the thought of the ear scoop doesn’t conjure up any particularly pleasant images.
Dave G pans for gold in trench 2. He fails to strike it rich.
At the end of the day, the Virgin balloon turns up, low enough to have a conversation with the occupants of the basket. “Don’t crash on the tent”, is the main point that we want to put across, but we ask them to take pictures as they go across, so hopefully they will pass by with some copies. We get some pictures with the balloon over the site, in the hope of persuading Richard Branson to sponsor the project. Come on Richard, you know it makes sense. Surely a picture of a tent with your balloon is worth a few quid. Think of the positive image it sends out. Better than the normal pictures of you in a dress anyway.
The Virgin balloon over the tent. Any chance of some cash Richard.
No swords sold today. Another sales drive needed.