Friday 3rd November saw the end of the current autumn phase of our Romano-British excavations. During this phase, diggers encountered every type of weather, from unseasonal heat and sunshine to wet and windy ‘Somme-like’ conditions! The earlier wet weather meant that we could, at least, catch up with the back-log of finds washing and processing.
This phase of the excavations concentrated upon Trench G26, which continued to produce a great amount of pottery containing or associated with pig bone, deposited at regular intervals along the flint cobbled surface of the trench. Extensions in each direction revealed more such deposits, including an unusual fine terracotta vessel and the discovery of a small iron band/strap(?) within another vessel. The possibility that this area may have been used for some sacred or ritual purpose was further emphasised by a visit from Ernest Black, whose recently published paper ‘A Survey of Selected Late Iron Age & Roman Sacred Sites in Eastern England, with particular reference to Essex’ (Vol.6, Essex Society for Archaeology & History) reveals many interesting parallels with our site.
During this phase Trench F was extended and the predicted extension of the flint cobbled surface in Trench C, beyond ditch B was revealed. An extended slot in Trench A revealed the location of a ditch and more pottery.
An additional activity took place in October, an introductory course in the use of LIDAR. This was led by one of our members, Cliff Ashcroft, who proved to be an excellent tutor, especially for those of us who are technically challenged! His clarity and patience resulted in everyone feeling more confident and able to manipulate the LIDAR information on their own. Thank you, Cliff!
The next SVCA activity will be a pottery identification session, processing some of our many finds, on Saturday 11th November.
Corinne Cox (Chairman, SVCA)