Monday began with a team effort to finish cleaning the bottom of the palisade trench so that the features could be seen more clearly. By lunch time this task was well in hand and Cassie I were resituated over at the barrow. Ed showed us a newly delineated area, mapped out with yellow string and he explained the nature of our new task. In fact we were now contributing to ‘Objective 1’, opening a small cutting to “assess the circuit and nature of the stone ring beneath the barrow” which would in turn hopefully “further enhance our understanding of the Neolithic and early Bronze Age activity on the hill” Whooo hooo, how exciting was this?!! With the aid of a spade and mattock we had removed the turf by afternoon tea break and by the end of the day had completed several passes across the trench, ‘peeling the onion’ as Gigi puts it, to remove the dark top soil layer.
Tues we arrived on a sunny site and excitedly gathered up our spoil buckets and shovels. We were anticipating that our ‘onion peeling’ would today reveal the tops of some ring stones and as we worked our way through the ‘chocolate’ layer beneath the top soil, we were not disappointed. Before morning break Cassie had exposed the top of the first stone and as the day progressed, the stone ring was clear to see. At one side of the trench we are now upon a gravelly layer while at the other we still have quite a depth of ‘chocolate’ soil to remove. Over the course of these past two days we have also both recorded a number flint finds. The significance of this is that as flint is not natural to the geology of this area we know it was brought here from elsewhere.
In all honesty I can now say that “archaeology is the most fun thing to do with clothes on” and I can hardly believe that summer term excavation at Boltby Scar is already half over! Nooooo!!!