Well day two of the Between the Monuments excavation started bright and sunny on the West Kennet Avenue occupation site and the enthusiastic dig team have been working hard. The gruelling job of turf removal was completed and it was time to start digging down through the topsoil to below the grass roots to reach the first undisturbed archaeological horizon.
Dr Mark Gillings, Dr Josh Pollard and Dr Alistair Pike were on site to make sure everything went to plan and to offer guidance and the atmosphere was industrious, with good-natured banter and great enthusiasm, not to mention a few far-too-cheesy archaeological jokes.
Dr Ros Cleal, Avebury National Trust ceramics expert, popped out of the office for a quick bit of digging before lunch and immediately turned up the find of the day – a beautiful British Oblique Neolithic arrowhead, in excellent condition.
This lovely artefact was made on a flake, was retouched on all sides and is in near perfect condition. It’s quite something to realise that someone dropped it around 5,000 years ago, probably accidentally, and no doubt spent a few minutes trying to find it again. Then several thousand years later we come along and dig it up, photograph it, draw it, write about it and put it on display – they would have thought we were crackers!
And it may be tiny at only 5mm dia., but we have the first piece of Neolithic pottery found on site today, we are hoping that this is the first of many sherds.
Although it is early on in the excavation we had a few interested people pop by to find out what was going on.
If you’d like to come and see what we find we’ll be digging every day except Fridays until Friday 7 August. To find us park in the main visitor car park at Avebury and our National Trust team at the welcome trailer will point you in the right direction.
We’ll have volunteer meet and greeters on site to explain what we’ve found and every day (starting this Wednesday) we’ll also be running tours of the dig starting at the Barn Gallery of the Museum in the Old Farmyard at Avebury.