So the final day of the dig arrived, and it was a glorious yet sad day. The morning consisted of removing as much of the ditch fill as we could before lunch, as the trench needed to be photographed after.
Yesterday I said that there could be a mysterious Roman pit within the southern end of the ditch. Unfortunately time ran out before we could excavate it, however, whilst cleaning that portion of the ditch (for the photograph!) it has become clearer. There appears to be two separate pits, one which is thought to be a gap in the medieval ditch (maybe an entrance), and the other is still thought at this time to be Roman in date. Next year’s second years will now have to solve the mystery!
Even though we only had the morning to make some more discoveries before putting the site to bed for the next year, some interesting finds were still found! Another sherd of our Cistercian ware ‘portable brewery’ was found, and another large mammal skull was discovered at the northern end of the medieval ditch.
Another amazing find that appeared, which unfortunately I did not get a picture of, was what is thought to be a medieval book clasp. It was fragile and rather corroded, however it still revealed some of its beautiful decoration in spite of this. It was a beautiful morning digging, and we shall all miss being on site every day.
In the afternoon pictures were taken to record the extent of the ditch, and the stone wall that runs along the western side. Whilst this was going on, we took the opportunity to rest for a moment and come to terms with the fact that shortly we would need to cover the trench with terram (a fabric that is placed over the archaeological remains in order to protect them when the trench is backfilled, and when it is revealed again next year).
It has been an amazing four weeks, which has been filled with fantastic company, beautiful archaeology and superb teachers! I would also like to thank the public that came along to talk to us whilst we were excavating, and for having such an interest in what we do!
Hopefully the mysteries of the southern ditch will be solved next year……