4/5/2012 The end of week 1

 So the first week in the journey from enthusiastic un-dug to seasoned dug is over and a lot has been learnt in a week. The last day was spent finishing off and cleaning the trench that displays the palisade wall and ditch. Through this trowelling, the features have become clearer and in some areas the palisade shall be excavated further, in the hope of finding dating evidence. This is to establish the relationship between the ditch and palisade enclosure, is it later? Is it earlier? Hopefully in a couple of weeks we shall know and the chronology of the site shall become clearer. G F Willmot has become a name that every student on the site is now a lot more familiar with, if they weren’t already. Very little is known about his excavations and Friday it had become established that there was a good chance Willmot was probably on site for a very little amount of the time (“call me if there’s something shiny”). We were told this is shown in the fact that he never acknowledged the first phase stone ring of the barrow in his excavations. Some group G members along with some students from other groups spent the last day of the week digging out and sectioning one of his former trenches from the excavations in 1938 and 1939. In this trench a feature described as a hearth is thought to be present. The hearth, if identified correctly by Willmot could provide potential dating evidence, so another day of mattocking, shovelling and trowelling was upon us. The location of Willmots trench was only established through aerial photography so a lot of time was spent mattocking back our trench to the edge of Willmots. This gave us a great opportunity to further understand the different soils, colours and textures between features such as the backfill and natural whilst trowelling back the trench walls. Once cleaned and looking pretty, we were quickly told Willmots trench floor was actually around another half a meter down. We shall be starting our Monday morning how we left off on Friday, mattocking, shovelling and most likely having a good moan about the weather (but we love it really). Our learning about trowelling techniques, understanding stratigraphic layers and putting in sections has been progressing quickly this week; however some important skills needed in archaeology are given less attention in the text books. Patience, endurance, and taking the opportunity to ask a lot of questions have been a great help in the first week. How does an archaeologist hold a trowel? Daft and basic as it sounded in my head on day one, was actually very helpful for the week ahead. Roll on week2- Group G

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