Day 26 (the last day plus 1)

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.

'London calling, yes I was there too...'

'...and you know what they said, some of it was true'.

Rhiane basks in the glory of dating the entire sequence from Trench 2.

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11 Responses to Day 26 (the last day plus 1)

  1. Roger Chamberlain says:

    I have followed this diary with interest. I am a wheelchair archaologist ( not armchair – due to Multiple Sclerosis).
    Since my youth I have thought that tacitus must have had a lisp as I have a theory that Iceni should be Ikeni! It makes more sense because of the number of place names with Ick or similar in them (plus the Ickneald way of course). ake also often appears in names. As I think the natives were not totally obliterated by the Saxons or Danes and our lazy dialect it doesn’t take much to change from east Icklian to east Anglian!
    I could ramble for longer but I doubt if anyone reads these comments?

    • Roger, you are right. I believe that the “c” in Iceni and Icenorum should correctly be pronounced as a hard k sound, although if you do it in public people tend to think that you’re showing off, so I usually chicken out and go for the more accepted although incorrect soft c sound.

      • Roger Chamberlain says:

        Thank you for your rapid response. Its a shame we don’t say Ickeni as it would be easier to understand that they have not died out and are still amongst us (by looking at place names etc). Presumably a single Ickeni would be an Icken (Wicken, Dicken etc) But now I’m probably in a Time Team Fantasy world!

  2. Martin says:

    Re resemblence to 1970’s…The picture of Will sifting reminds me of Keith Emmerson at the Moog Synthesiser (circa iron age)

    Whole lotta love,


    Have very much enjoyed the blog and pictures, but as a total non-archaeologist have been left a bit frustrated by not understanding the arcane references amid all the humour! What I would really like is a very simple, humour-free, idiots’ guide – type, summary of what has been found and what your provisional conclusions are. Hope that the local press might publish something on those lines too.

    • Sorry. I attempt to make the blog accessible to a general audience, but sometimes forget to explain things as much as I could. I’ll attempt to sum up in the next entry, which should appear tomorrow.

  4. Thanks for such a well written blog, I’ve been following with interest (and enjoyed the humour! You can’t please all of the people etc) when we visited the site we were even guilted into buying a couple of T shirts for our children thanks to you. I think the blog is a great way for the public to feel close to what’s going on and get an understanding of the overall picture which has been hard to get in previous years. Will there be a dig in 2011?

  5. Thank you for keeping up this interesting blog.

    Can I ask, was there enough time to dig the trench 1 post holes? Any finds in them or ideas of what kind of structure they were part of? Also, where and when will the full dig report will be published?

  6. Avril Wilkinson says:

    Quick, get Tony and the Time Team back, they need to come back and look at your post holes, now! I have enjoyed the blog and the cake and the people and everything about it… A volunteer told me it has been the best organised dig they had ever taken part in – and they had done a few. Hope you can get a well deserved break…until the field walking season kicks in, of course…!

  7. Paul says:

    Lucky enough to visit the dig twice. Warmly received on both occasions, shown around both times with endless questions answered – thank you. Have kept up with the daily blog – funny and informative, what more can you ask. Look forward to your return visit next year.

  8. Thanks for the blog and the opportunity to visit.

    I dropped by twice and was lucky enough to be there to see the big grinding dish as it was carried into the tent full of muck in a cardboard box. I was with two American visitors who were in awe to see that the field we were walking on had all that history under it. When I pointed out that just about every field in Norfolk has history under it, they wanted to do some field walking! (Which I couldn’t fit in for them.)

    It is great to have such an important site on our doorstep, roll on next year so we can see more digging. Is there a plan of what part of the area will be explored yet?

    I look forward to the Time Team programme, it’s good to say “I was there” and “I stood by that range-rover” etc! lol


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