Although we’ve officially finished, we’re actually carrying on for a bit, on the grounds that we haven’t quite finished at all. There is a lot of drawing and a little bit of digging to do. Ian continues to dig bodies in the graveyard, Rhiane continues in her own personal corner, Martin digs some post-holes, and Wendy draws a million stones. Nevilla turns up too, for a cameo section drawing appearance from Albania.
Rhiane’s dedication pays off and she strikes gold on the datable pottery front, with a respectable collection of Samian (the nice datable Gallic shiny red pottery) from the very earliest layer of courtyard surface. She gets a bit with a maker’s stamp and a bit with a bare chested spearman (Dragendorff 37 again Samian fans). Gwladys the Samian sorceress will be able to tell us who made them, the day of the week he did it and whether it was raining. We’ve decided that this is probably a public area rather than just a courtyard (on the grounds that it’s quite nice and jolly big). Based on a saloon bar knowledge of Samian this suggests that these surfaces start in the late 1st century (slightly later than the town is thought to have been laid out) although we reserve the right to change this opinion once Gwladys has told us we are completely wrong.
The post-holes of Boudica are well and truly present in Trench 1. They are indeed the earliest thing present and it’s unfortunate that they didn’t show up a couple of days earlier, as it would have formed a more satisfactory end for Time Team, as Tony Robinson walked into the sunset with an absence of pre Roman features two days previously. However, hats off to Time Team, as a realistic reflection of the normal archaeological process in which the truth is simply the most recent opinion. Interpretations change from day to day and season to season, and the cut-off point at which interpretation is presented is always arbitrary.
The marquee comes down with a remarkable lack of comedy. Nothing blows away or explodes, so in terms of entertainment the whole exercise must be counted as a failure. However, if anyone is short on amusement and would like to see some utter rubbish associated with Boudica, may we suggest that they venture no further than the Iceni Mineral Water website. Great Britain, England, and the Iceni are all seamlessly linked in a smorgasbord of vaguely jingoistic sentiment. Poor old Prasutagus doesn’t get a look in.
Incidentally, we neglected to mention that the picture of Jon C on the previous entry bears an uncanny resemblance to the iconic image of the Clash’s Paul Simenon on the cover of London Calling (see below). Has any other reader spotted a resemblance between an archaeologist and a seminal 1970s musician? If so, please respond in the comments section below.