Day 20

Sunday. Day 20 of the excavation. The wind has moved to the north and is howling through the marquee and chilling the diggers who had been scorched by the sun the previous day. But are we downhearted? No, because today is the day that the last two plastic swords are sold. If anyone now wants a high quality reproduction plastic gladius, they will have to wait until next year or go onto Amazon.

As if that weren’t enough excitement, the church trench have a second slow-worm sighting. This time we have photographic evidence, negating the value of the high quality artist’s impression that was included on a previous post. This time it is the daddy of all slow-worms, lounging luxuriantly on the path looking for all the world as if it wasn’t an endangered species.

Über slow-worm, lurking casually in the churchyard.

Über slow-worm, lurking casually in the churchyard.

Despite the weather it is our biggest day yet for visitors with 345 people entering the marquee, bringing the total to more than 2100 for the first 2 weeks of the excavation. Too bad we had just run out of plastic swords. The MG Owners Club came and they would have definitely all wanted one.

On the archaeology front, the Roman blob in the church trench appears to be expanding and it is clear that we are now partly down to Roman levels in the area of the soakaway. Gwladys Monteil, Nottingham’s resident Samian guru, stops in to see if we’ve got some shiny red pottery for her to have a look at. Not only does she identify our Samian, but she brings us chocolate muffins. This is what you want from a finds specialist. Carole and Neville also come up trumps on the cake front, while Hazel brings doughnuts so the day turns into a cakeathon.

Jenny gives her all on the sieving machine.

Jenny gives her all on the sieving machine.

In trench 2 the gullies that showed up on the geophysics do actually seem to exist – surely a first time that excavation has reflected a geophysical survey. The mysterious pits, however, seem to be going down and down. Sarah B has taken to sheltering in the bottom of one of them.

At lunchtime Heather J. gets the call to go to Seething airfield to meet Roman Abramovich and give him a cup of tea (as one does). This could have been the funding opportunity that we were waiting for, but Heather gets replaced at the last moment. Never mind. There’s always the cake. But Roman, if you’re reading this, we’re better value than Didier Drogba. Or at least cheaper.

Boudica: Is she responsible for this small Iron Age gulley (below)?

Boudica: Is she responsible for this small Iron Age gulley (below)?

Boudica's small gulley.

Boudica's small gulley.


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