Events Blog

Practical Archaeology Course 2007 - Day 10

Today was the last day of Wessex Archaeology’s 2007 training excavation at Down Farm in Dorset. The weather finally broke and instead of the glorious sunshine we’ve had over the past two weeks the day was overcast and a little damp. Nothing could deter our volunteers though and we spent the morning on site continuing the excavation of our postholes. By now our team was so efficient that features were being recorded with ease and speed. This is fantastic progress considering that most of our diggers were complete beginners at the start of the week.

Progress this past two weeks has been amazing – seventy-nine postholes have been excavated and fully recorded, and three slots have been put through the enigmatic quarry hollows in the south of the site. In total our teams have generated over two hundred context numbers (the numbers that we give to each archaeological event in order to understand and talk about them) which would be considered a very respectable number for one of our commercial digs.

Each year that we’ve been here we learn more about the Bronze and Iron Age inhabitants of Down Farm. We’ve found their settlement and identified the enclosure ditch flanking the western edge. We’ve found pieces of their pottery and their flints. Tantalizing clues have emerged as to the animals they kept and what the people were eating. There’s still a lot of work to do though. Our postholes show no sign of abating and appear to continue off to the north, east and west of our current excavation areas. Supported by the geophysical survey conducted last week, this gives us possible areas for future investigation.

We’d like to thank everyone who has dug with us this year for their hard work, patience and enthusiasm. We’d also like to thank Martin Green for welcoming us onto his farm and for his support, tours and demonstrations throughout the fortnight. Thanks are also due to the two cake-making Margarets, to Rob and to Cindy who have brought us gifts of food.

Today was the last day of Wessex Archaeology’s 2007 training excavation at Down Farm in Dorset. The weather finally broke and instead of the glorious sunshine we’ve had over the past two weeks the day was overcast and a little damp. Nothing could deter our volunteers though and we spent the morning on site continuing the excavation of our postholes. By now our team was so efficient that features were being recorded with ease and speed. This is fantastic progress considering that most of our diggers were complete beginners at the start of the week.

Progress this past two weeks has been amazing – seventy-nine postholes have been excavated and fully recorded, and three slots have been put through the enigmatic quarry hollows in the south of the site. In total our teams have generated over two hundred context numbers (the numbers that we give to each archaeological event in order to understand and talk about them) which would be considered a very respectable number for one of our commercial digs.

Each year that we’ve been here we learn more about the Bronze and Iron Age inhabitants of Down Farm. We’ve found their settlement and identified the enclosure ditch flanking the western edge. We’ve found pieces of their pottery and their flints. Tantalizing clues have emerged as to the animals they kept and what the people were eating. There’s still a lot of work to do though. Our postholes show no sign of abating and appear to continue off to the north, east and west of our current excavation areas. Supported by the geophysical survey conducted last week, this gives us possible areas for future investigation.

Group photoGroup photo

We’d like to thank everyone who has dug with us this year for their hard work, patience and enthusiasm. We’d also like to thank Martin Green for welcoming us onto his farm and for his support, tours and demonstrations throughout the fortnight. Thanks are also due to the two cake-making Margarets, to Rob and to Cindy who have brought us gifts of food.

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