Today was the last day on site for this week’s diggers who have now truly earned their archaeological stripes. We spent the morning up on site finishing the week’s excavations. This meant more digging, more recording and more photography. I’m pleased to report that this week’s team are now so proficient at this that they barely required the assistance of Wessex’s three site staff!

Chris Ellis set up the GPS system and gave those interested a brief lesson in how to survey an archaeological site. The results of today’s survey will, when downloaded onto a computer and processed, create a map of the site. This means that we will have a drawing of all the features, both excavated and unexcavated, and this can be added to the survey of work done here in previous years. This helps us to understand how the postholes might fit together to form structures and accurately locates them for future reference.

We were joined again at lunchtime by friends of the dig Margaret and Margaret, who brought with them gifts of cakes! Archaeologists always respond well to food and the team would like to thank the ladies for their generosity. We’d also like to wish Leslie, who has been digging with us this week, a very happy birthday. As you can see from the photo, Leslie has worked exceedingly hard, as have all our diggers, and we hope that he’s not too tired to enjoy his birthday celebrations!

In the afternoon Martin Green led his now legendary Long Tour of Down Farm (as opposed to the Short Tour of Monday morning) and showed the team some of the other features of the landscape of Cranborne Chase.

This week’s volunteers have worked exceptionally hard to help us to understand the archaeology of Down Farm, and in the process all have become competent excavators. We’d like to thank everyone who came on the dig for their participation and enthusiasm.

On Monday we meet our next sixteen volunteers and will continue to investigate and to report upon, the archaeology of Down Farm.