The day starts early when the good Jon Cook of South Norfolk Council delivers a trailer of bark to stop cars sinking into the gathering quagmire in the entrance to the site. The camping party, plus Giles who has made the mistake of turning up early, grab shovels and unload it, finding a tiny grass snake in the process. There is presumably a happy group of grass snakes living in a warm pile of bark chippings somewhere, and this one was separated from the others when the bark was load into Jon’s trailer. It’s a bit like Finding Nemo, only with grass snakes. And bark. And Jon Cook instead of a big scary fish, or a shark or whatever it was. Anyway, Giles carries the snake away to a nice patch of grass by the river, where Jon (who is a countryside ranger and knows about this stuff) says that it will live a happy and fulfilled life.
Other big news is that at last the wind has stopped. The sun is out (a bit) and a sense of calm order descends on the trenches. The big road trench (aka Trench 2) has finally reached the edge of the road, and frankly the road is an absolute whopper (as Vitruvius might have said). It’s a good 10m wide, which is pretty huge in Roman street terms. It has a line of pits running down it, which may relate to neighbouring properties, although if you’re going to dig a rubbish pit, hacking through about half a metre of solid gravel (relating to successive road surfaces) seems like a hard way of going about it. The director mutters hopefully about ritual pits, but they could also be post holes as well relating to a building fronting onto the street.
Meanwhile down in Trench 1, Jon empties out his smithing hearth/oven and it’s an absolute beauty of a feature, with traces of wattle present in the furnace lining and a lovely tile base. We may yet be inspired to a short ode about it, such is its all round loveliness.
Tons and tons of finds coming up and the situation reaches critical mass as we realise we don’t have enough space to store them. This will mean cash expenditure, but the donations bucket is not coming up with the goods (see day 8). Find of the day is a bone gaming counter, which the director finds in a mole hill making him unbearably smug for a good 10 minutes. We’ll see if we can come up with a picture. Tomorrow we should be able to bring you news of Dave B.’s side project, creating a mass grave at UEA. It involves buckets of offal and all sorts, so watch this space.