Thursday, 9 July 2015

Week 2 drawing to a close...

Only one day to go of the Undergraduate Fieldschool and week two has flown by. The students continue to learn about planning, sectioning, levels, photographs, and all things context recording.

At the eastern end of the trench the sequence of Roman roads keeps producing new and (frustratingly) complex stratigraphies, whilst the centre of the trench has thrown up an intriguing ovular feature with an Aurelian sestertius, extensive evidence of burning, and a number of detached cattle horns. We continue to empty the ditches towards the northern baulk, grappling with post-Medieval meddlings.

Some of the star finds include a beautifully worked bone hair pin, some clipped and stamped Samian bases, glass beads, iron tools (a punch and a chisel), and the ubiquitous iron nails, pottery, animal bones, glass ware, and metal-working evidence.
The base of a Samian Vessel, stamped with the name of a potter, possibly Cinnamus, 
who worked at the kilns of Lezoux, Central Gaul, c. 160-190 AD. 

This week we heard seminars on the topics of landscape archaeology from Dr Chris Green and Dr Anwen Cooper of the EngLaId project, environmental archaeology from Professor Mark Robinson, Roman pottery from our very own Paul Booth, archaeological photography from Ian Cartwright, and tomorrow sees us sitting down to the early medieval period in the Upper Thames Valley with Abi Tompkins.

It's not been all work and no play: yesterday evening we made the climb up the Wittenham Clumps taking in various archaeological and historical sites, including the Dyke Hills late Iron Age ramparts, the late Bronze Age hillfort of Castle Hill, the Victorian Poem Tree, a fantastic view of the North Berkshire Downs (and the Ridgeway) and the Chilterns (and Icknield Way), and a striking sunset!

The Dyke Hills

The view north westward from the top of the Wittenham Clumps

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