Today was our last day at Down Farm as, after five successful years, this will be our final year on this site. After a week’s training our participants are now confident and competent and needed little instruction from us. The site was quiet except for the rustling of records and the scratching of trowels as we pressed on with work on this Iron Age settlement site.
Over the past five years we have dug countless postholes, several pits, an enclosure ditch and numerous sections of enigmatic quarry hollows. This has revealed a wealth of information about the prehistoric residents of this site.
We now believe that we have found a small farmstead where a small group or even just one family lived for several generations. They farmed the land, built roundhouses and square ancillary buildings, quarried chalk and buried their waste. We’ve found evidence of activities that may have been rituals – a cow burial flanking the enclosure ditch and a human femur buried in a shallow pit – the meanings of which are now lost to time. All that remains of their lives are the traces preserved beneath our feet which our teams have painstakingly excavated in order to bring to life the prehistory of Down Farm.
Wessex Archaeology would like to thank everyone who has dug with us, this year and over the previous four years, and everyone who has supported the project. We’d like to thank those that have given workshops and worked behind the scenes on post excavation and project management to make this a success. We’d also like to thank Martin Green, not only for letting us work on his land, but for the talks, tours, advice and good humour he has shown over the past five years.
The Wessex Archaeology Team.