The end is nigh!

Today was the final day of archaeology for this season’s excavation.  Although there are still some bits and bobs to do on site tomorrow, today marks the end of digging and recording for our 2016 season.

The day began with Elliot and James G finishing their work on the tessellated pavement.  After recording the final overlying layer, removing it and sampling it in its entirety, they were able to uncover the pavement as much as possible.  In the final layer on top of the pavement James G even found a completely intact Late Roman bone hair pin.  After it was uncovered, with some careful brush work and some excellent sponging methods, they were able to clean it up in preparation for its photo record.



Elsewhere in the trench, our top planning team of Lucy and Becca finished off their work for the season by finally recording the last of the walls.

Meanwhile, Matt, Frankie, Jeff, Freddie and Tom were occupied with the mammoth task of cleaning up the rest of the trench, ready for Andy to take a whole trench photo.


Hayley and Doug were able to take out the final layer of their burnt patch and sample it before Hayley and Elliot took on their supervisory roles and delegated the cleaning of the trench as much as possible.

The majority of the team were taken home while Andy, James G, Elliot and Hayley attempted to do some laser scanning of the trench.  Unfortunately due to rain they had to postpone playing with the expensive gadgets until tomorrow.

It’s the final day on site for most people tomorrow before backfilling on Friday.  Both our first and second teams are incredibly proud of what they’ve achieved over the last four weeks, seeing the trench completely cleaned up today hammered home how much their hard work has paid off.


Local media celebrities

It was a bit of a media circus on site today. The team were visited by Historic England, the county archaeologist, representatives from the Historic Environment Record as well as reporters from BBC Points West and the Western Gazette. The outcome of all this is that Historic England and County are very pleased and impressed with our work; BBC Points West did a great news story and the Daily Mail Online wrote a rather odd, not to mention inaccurate, piece about the project… still we were pleased to make the national press.

We also had a visit from Absolute Archaeology – who brought us wine and cheese! Thank you!

Elliot, Josh and James G spent most of the day working on the contexts overlying the tessellated pavement that was uncovered yesterday. They worked hard all day to record each individual layer on top of the pavement while also carefully uncovering more and more of the tesserae. While it was disappointing to find it’s just a plain grey pavement we were really impressed by its state of preservation. The slumping must indicate that the floor is subsiding into something beneath it – a hypocaust??


Meanwhile, Hayley continued to unpick the layers surrounding the burnt layer in the central eastern part of the trench along with Doug and Matt. They were rewarded by finding a late Roman coin (with Ski’s help) and some pottery.


Tom set off alone just behind Elliot and Josh working a burnt patch of his own, recording and excavating it in an attempt to understand its place in the wider picture of our trench.

Meanwhile, Jeff, Freddie and James B began the monumental task of cleaning the entire trench in preparation for a whole trench photo tomorrow.

Andy was working throughout the day with the Total Station and the GPS while also darting around site, taking record photos in between bouts of custard cream-related madness.

In other news, our crack recording team of Lucy and Becca continued to record walls as well as making further records of the apsidal room and its related hypocaust and flue channel.


The team returned hone to cheesy pasta prepared lovingly by Tilly and Frankie.

With only two days to go, the team are working hard to get as much done as possible before heading home this weekend.