Avebury Dig 2015 Day 18

Well it’s finally here. Our last day on site. Trenches backfilled and turf replaced. I always have mixed feelings at the end of any dig. But this one doubly so.

Cheerio Trench 4 and thanks for the memories...

Cheerio Trench 4 and thanks for the memories…

Its been a real privilege to be able to dig here over the last three years. I first visited Avebury as a teenager and my abiding memory is of standing on the West Kennet Avenue, watching the great stones reluctantly revealing themselves out of the autumn mists.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d one day be digging on that very spot. So there’s more than a touch of sadness that it’s all over.

But there’s also a real sense of achievement. This year’s team were simply fantastic.

A more enthusiastic, dedicated, fun bunch to dig with would be difficult to imagine (thanks guys). And we’ve had the most amazing support from our Avebury National Trust team (staff and volunteers). From our meet and greeters and dig tour guides, to our dig support team, Rangers, Facilities and Visitor Services teams all of whom have made it possible.

We’ve answered many of the questions we’d posed ourselves at the start. But there have been huge surprises along the way (not least our mega-posthole).

One last look: Trench 6 with its mega- posthole and giant tree-throw-hole

One last look: Trench 6 with its mega- posthole (far left) and giant tree-throw-hole

There are months of post-excavation analysis to come. Our specialists will get to work on our soil and phosphate samples, the pottery, flintwork and of course that beauty of a polished stone macehead. And then we’ll draw all of this together to try to make sense of what was happening here.  So really this is only the beginning.

 

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About Dr Nick

Dr Nick Snashall is Archaeologist for Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site. She is fascinated by prehistoric stones, large and small, and their potential for unlocking the secrets of our past. Nick is co-director of Living with Monuments (an AHRC funded research project aiming to address our lack of knowledge of Neolithic settlement and non-monumental activity through targetted fieldwork and archival research into the Avebury region) and Ground -Truthing Stonehenge’s ‘Superhenge’: excavations at Durrington Walls (Current Archaeology's 2017 Research Project of the Year)

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