It was a bleak and wet start to day four of the Wessex Archaeology Practical Archaeology Course at Down Farm, but morale was still high. Despite the rain most of the diggers had finished their immaculately dug post-holes and were beginning to contemplate doing a second. Before moving on, however, there were context sheets to be finished and plans drawn.

Chris has been showing our diggers how to use a dumpy level to survey in their excavated features and today he gave a short introduction to on-site surveying techniques using the GPS. These days the GPS has become the standard technology for surveying, so Wessex Archaeology staff had to jog their memories a little before they could help our diggers to use the dumpy level.

This afternoon Matt Leivers arrived for his second talk – a workshop on prehistoric pottery, which was very useful. If only we could find some!

Unfortunately our tea-breaks were particularly ill-timed today. They coincided with the sunnier spells, and more than once we had to abandon our digging and huddle in the lee of the van as the clouds periodically burst above us. It didn’t seem to dampen spirits though, or spoil another successful day.