It is coming to the end of the week here and our last set of undergraduates are on their ways out. They have dug hard (the record for the number of barrows 'run' in one day fell twice), and we have progressed in most parts of the site. There have been a number of beautiful finds: a copper ligula from a toiletry or medical set, a bone pin, and an antler knife handle have all rather caught the eye - see the photos that will follow.
However, as ever with archaeology, it is not the finds that really make an impression but the features themselves. For, underneath the middle road slot, we have come across a line of stake holes (or 'voids') set into the ground and stretching from north to south. They are linearly scattered into the northern road slot too and once made up the wall from some kind of early building. Near this area we also had a Claudian as, a copy of the type with the Minerva reverse, and this find places the feature slap bang in the middle of the 1st century CE. It therefore looks like we are beginning to uncover and untangle material that might provide parallels and nuances to the 1960s and 1970s excavations that took place in this picturesque village.
Working with this feature we might begin to provide some answers to some of our original questions - what were the origins of Roman Dorchester? And, was there a military phase here?
All exciting and all still very hot (the heat wave continues)!