Week 2 – Friday!

We started today by visiting a large commercial excavation near Yeovil. The site is being excavated by Context One Archaeology and looks quite exciting.

Back at our site, we had a busy afternoon. In trench A Lucy and Pete found the edges of the SE feature, they began excavating and found lots of medieval pottery,bone and a ceramic small find.

In trench B, Kimberley and Ollie planned a context in the NE corner. Along with Jessie and James G, they also continued to excavate the feature.

Andy, Elliot, James and Chris continued to excavate in the south of trench B. Sue also cleaned the feature that she had been digging with Flora.

We want to say a special thank you to Ski who has provided us with some lovely Somerset cider.

Wk 2 Day 4

Thursday got off to a subdued start because Bill has had to return home unexpectedly. We’ll miss Bill’s sieving, sense of humour and keen eye for a latte shop.

Excavation continued apace in Trench B. James G, Kimberley and Ollie began excavating a second slot across what we hope is the line of the holloway. This was hard, hot work but we removed a grey deposit to find a number of other contexts below. Hopefully these will turn out to be ditch or holloway fills….

In the centre of the trench Andy and Jess dug what is probably going to be a large pit. It is so far findless but the fills contain above normal (for this site) amounts of charcoal.

Flora and Sue continued to excavate and record another shallow pit. This has produced some large bits of medieval pottery,

In Trench A Lucy, Hayley, Elliot and Mary began to resolve a dark patch first identified by Pete last week.

Home, in a state of near exhaustion, for a nice chilli prepared by The Saint (James SA) and Chris. The evening was rounded off by a relaxed visit to the Mason’s Arms.

Week 2 – Day 3

Today was another hot and busy day on site.

Lucy and Hayley planned and recorded the stone feature in trench A.

In trench B, Chris and Kimberley also drew the plan and section for the hollow way in the NW of the trench.

Mary and Ollie began digging a slot on the NE of trench B to establish whether the hollow way continues across the trench.

Also in trench B Andy, James (G and St A), Flora and Sue investigated interesting interfaces between contexts in the south of the trench. James St A found some flint in a small pit he was digging raising the prospect of prehistoric activity nearby.

Bill did some splendid sieving and found more medieval pottery.

Tuesday Wk 2

We started early today in the hope that we might avoid the worst of the heat. The plan sort of worked but it was 18 degrees at 8am and rose to about 26 degrees which was exhausting.

The day got off to an excellent start (!) with a portaloo fiasco. Apparently our toilet was positioned by the hire company in such a place that they can’t empty it. Here’s hoping they move it to a better spot soon.



On a more positive note work progressed well in Trench B. Kimberley, Chris, Sue and James G finally resolved the deep slot they’ve been digging for the last few days. It proved to be a large ditch or holloway with a number of fills. The lowest fill, which was dark grey, produced a large fragment of animal bone and also a small, black soapy feeling sherd that might be pre-Norman…


We also had a special visitor to site today: Woofton. Woofton is the dig mascot given by Min to her Daddy. Woofton had great fun playing on site and with the team.


Elsewhere in Trench B pretty much the entire team continued to excavate a thick layer which is producing medieval pottery. In the hot dry conditions finds recovery was aided by Bill and James SA’s meticulous sieving. What’s under this layer remains something of a mystery that has Andy and James scratching their heads.

Over in Trench A Hayley and Flora spent the day excavating the stoney feature (almost certainly a recent field drain) and drawing sections.

Late in the day Bill did a run to the supermarket for some icecreams, which were desperately needed by the digging team. Food tonight was excellent fajitas served up in exemplary style by Lucy and Ollie.


Week 2

Week two began with us bailing and sponging the two trenches after rain over the weekend. We also took the opportunity to scrape back and photograph Trenches A and B.

In Trench A, Lucy and Hayley were joined by Mary and Sue who are members of SSARG.

Trench B was a hive of activity. Chris, Jessie, James G and Ollie continued to excavate the complex feature in the NW of trench B. This feature became even more complex when Chris and Ollie uncovered a ceramic field drain which appears to have been placed without a cut being visible in the trench section.

The rest of the team in Trench B cut another slot trying to clarify the stratigraphic sequence.


Meanwhile at camp, Bill was witnessed chasing a springer spaniel who had decided to liberate some bread rolls.
A special thanks to our neighbours, who have provided us with some homemade wine.


Saturday night saw Elliot win the open mic competition in Odcombe! It was an excellent evening and Elliot won out against some talented competition.


Sunday saw the team visit the Cerne Abbas giant, Lulworth Cove and Wareham where we enjoyed the Anglo-Saxon churches and defences. We also (coincidentally) ran into Bella and Fraser. Both are recent graduates from Newcastle and Fraser’s a veteran of the 2012 season.

Home now for a relaxing BBQ



We don’t usually post on Saturday but thought that we’d record our thanks to the Mason’s Arms in Odcombe for their welcome and fine beers. We had a lovely time and Kimberly especially enjoyed the visit!

Most of Saturday was spent shopping for food and mooching about Yeovil. Elliot is returning to Odcombe tonight with his guitar and high hopes for the open mic competition…


The End of our First Week

Bill, Pete and Hayley investigated the stone feature in Trench A and discovered it was most likely a land drain and probably modern.

There was lots of activity in Trench B today.

Kimberly, Chris, James G and Ollie continued to excavate an interesting feature in the north west corner of Trench B. They moved a large amount of earth to reach a blueish grey context which could be the fill of a hollow way. This area produced a large amount of medieval pottery including green glazed sherds.


Also in Trench B, Andy, James SA and Elliot continued to excavate a slot running through a large feature. Having removed a context, which produced medieval pottery and iron slag they then recorded the underlying deposit and took some levels.


A journalist from the Western Gazette also turned up to take photos of the site and the team.

We returned home to a lovely carbonara prepared by Flora and Jess.

Tonight we will be sampling some Somerset cider in the Mason’s Arms, Odcombe

Day 4 On Site

Day 4 was a pretty busy day. In Trench A Lucy and Jess continued to tidy up after the machining and identified what is probably a modern field drain. Lucy began to excavate it in the afternoon and found a tiny fragment of medieval pottery.

In Trench B James G, Kimberley and Ollie continued to dig a deep slot across a feature we think might be a ditch or holloway (trackway). This feature has produced a lot of medieval pottery but the upper fill also contained a piece of industrially produced blue and white ‘china’ and a piece of modern glass. We think this fill might be the result of the bulldozing in the 1970s and hope to find out whether there are medieval deposits below.

Andy, Flora, Elliot and Hayley began investigating a big feature in the south-eastern corner. This is a complicated area that we don’t fully understand yet. Nevertheless medieval pottery and pieces of iron slag provided plenty of excitement.


All of this activity was aided by Bill on the sieve.


The evening saw the team return to Chris and James St A’s excellent chilli and also a new camping shower.

Seal Matrix

We had an exciting find yesterday just south of Trench B.

A copper-alloy seal matrix (used for marking sealing wax with a design) dating from AD1250-1400 depicting a hare riding a hound and blowing a horn. Around the edge there’s an inscription reading ‘Sohev Roben’, which is a medieval phrase similar to ‘Tallyho Fido’.

The seal is a humorous little piece and mocks the medieval elite’s favourite past time. It may have belonged to a noblewoman poking fun at her male friends and relations or a clergyman.

A similar seal is noted on the PAS Database.

Thanks to Mike (Ski) for his help in finding this object.