Due to one thing and another the weekend has faded into a blur so I’m going to deal with both days together. Sue from Brampton’s cake was a big fat chocolate cake with a surprise layer of marmalade. It has to be said that an end of day marquee session made some quite considerable inroads into it so there was a large dent in it by the time the rest of the team saw it. Kathryn provided ginger flapjacks, however, so this was a minor inconvenience, while Brenda provided cookies. With the still surviving remains of the Tuesday ladies group cakes (which have been carefully rationed with the fruitcake saved till last on the grounds that it will keep better) a steady diet of cake has been maintained. It’s touch and go as to whether our arteries will hold out until the end of the dig.
The weekend saw a total of 834 visitors to the site. They included John Mitchell from UEA who we confidently expected to make pronouncements on our putative south aisle on the church. “Hmm”, said John. “You want a proper church person on this”. However, he goes away to consider the idea of aisles on late Saxon churches. The general feeling, though, is that aisles would only appear on very posh churches and it seems unlikely that our church is going to fit that bill. John also advises us that we need to date the church. He’s not wrong and fortunately Tony Q finds a large charnel deposit underneath the foundations of said building. This seems to be a deposit of bone that has been displaced by the construction of the early phase. We should be able to get some carbon dates on the bone. Those who don’t get out much may recall that we got a similar deposit from underneath the present church in 2009, which produced a C14 date of AD 890-1020, which suggested that there was an early church on the site.
On Sunday, the director is overcome with a fit of enthusiasm and spends the entire day planning stones on the second road surface down in order that the team can hack it off the following day. This makes a big change from his usual activity of scratching his chin and pointing at stuff (see picture below). Even his son (aged 3) has commented on how little he seems to do, which is surely not a good example to set to such an impressionable young mind.
Meanwhile down in Trench 1 (the one without the road) a nice uniform brown soil has been reached. We are jolly pleased about this because we can bash it off (scientifically of course) to see if we can see any early features below, although William Hill have dramatically lengthened the odds on the Iron Age appearing, following the tragic Romanization of our putative roundhouse. Although a Roman roundhouse is pretty interesting, particularly in the late 2nd century (or thereabouts) when this one seems to be built.
Included here is a picture also of a fragment of a facepot that’s just come up, together with some more complete examples that Sue found on the internet. We just need a whole one now.