On Trench 23, digging intensified, with a sharp focus on the discovery of multiple postholes around Malt House 2. Although there was the strong difficulty of identifying circles of dark orangish brown silty sand within mid orangish brown silty sand, a number have been found and half sectioned. A number have also been found near the cistern of Malt House 1, possibly indicating multiple phases on the site.
The sampling over Malt House 3 is finally complete, with c.1100 litres of soil removed to be floated by our environmental team. The plan for next season will be to lift the daub surface from which the soil above was taken, and hopefully more grain will be found via a similar sampling strategy.
After being forced off Trench 23 last week due to the heat, this week the decision was made to close it for the day due to heavy rain. As with the trip to the Sea Life Centre in Hunstanton, an effort was made to find a dry, but historic, site to visit. Some went to the museum in Kings Lynn to see the Sedgeford Hoard, whilst others went to a secondhand book shop before making their way to Castle Rising once the rain had stopped.
Trench 25 came to an end this week, after a complicated stratigraphy was discovered. Based on the range and number of finds, it is clear that a linear feature, possibly for managing water, was in use for a sustained period of time. As such, there is still plenty of work to be done.
Gary Rossin’s talk on the WW1 aerodromes in Norfolk was well received, as he gave a detailed overview of how East Anglia was central to the development of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service into the Royal Air Force, despite the widespread disappearance of these sites. Some structures still survive today, but the majority has now been lost to history.
Next week, a roundup of the season’s work will be presented, covering all the excavation and research that the project has done.
The evening entertainment throughout the week normally involves playing card-based games, though this week a Dungeons and Dragons session was organised. After dealing with orcs and mysterious river monsters, the evening sadly came to an end prior to the conclusion of the story, as our generator had to be turned off at 10!
This week’s topic of discussion revolved around the strong impact that evidence can have on initial hypotheses, with a particular focus on Trench 25. What appears to be a Water Management Feature dating prior to the Norman Conquest, known at least in the manor records from the mid-13th century, and containing earlier Thetford Ware pottery, could potentially be Roman or before, based on the stratigraphy of multiple ditches cut around and into it. Initial thoughts focused on it being an Anglo-Saxon canal, but the actual excavation and evidence produced is creating more questions than are being answered. It's proving to be a complex site, which we will no doubt be returning to in the seasons to come.
Friday evening saw the return of Steve Tyrell, performing to the residents of Boneyard field after his warm welcome at the start of the season. Finishing with a group chorus of Wonderwall, he certainly put on a good show for us. Next week, we'll have Hugh Lupton to finish our course of entertainment.