August Bank holiday Monday dawns damp and wet, perhaps the gods of archaeology are looking down sympathetically on the bunch of sand and gravel shovellers in Newsham. Optimistic the rain will bring resolution of some present but hiding features.
First stop Trench 4 where we have placed our trench to section a long side of a rectangular feature. In the dampened trench our previously absent feature is now sticking out like a sore thumb, we can even see a return. It is noteworthy however that the fills of ditches on this site even when wet are barely a couple of shades different from the natural.
Here are a few plans of the site and the general project.
A decision was made at the digger stage when it became clear that the geology would be causing us problems to open up an extra trench across the camp north ditch away from the entrance to provide for a second opportunity if one was required to record a clean section. Again the ditch did not present well in this trench either, and it was necessary to hand trowel away a 5 metre strip of the ditch 25mm at a time , requiring the removal of 75mm before the ditch edges popped out. The ditch is 2.40 metres wide, and first impressions suggest the edge is a narrow band of fine sand probably from erosion of the ditch from the very beginning, sandwiched between the natural sand and gravels and the more denser fill.