Foot of Avebury Down Dig – Day 11

It was business as usual today… plus doughnuts were brought to site and there was no rain!

Excavation continued on two of the bigger features – one in Trench 1 and the other in Trench 2. Both of these are probably tree throws, and there are a lot of interesting things coming out of the top of both.

Tree Throw – Trench 1


Tree throw excavation in Trench 1 ©National Trust/Briony Clifton

This feature is being excavated by Jess and Phoebe in quadrants, two of which were dug today. There are only a few flint flakes from the top of this tree throw, but the interesting part is there’s lots of burnt flint which appears in chunks that are very brittle… word is travelling round site that this is an area of Mesolithic activity! We’ve already had evidence of the Mesolithic on site in the form of a blade and a blade core tablet. We’ll let you know if anything else comes to light when the feature is fully excavated.

Tree Throw – Trench 2


Excavating the tree throw in Trench 2 in segments ©National Trust/Briony Clifton

Chris, Jake and India are excavating this feature which looks like a tree throw in plan, and they have discovered that it has been burrowed into by rabbits (so there are a few rabbit bones coming out), but they are getting loads of worked flint and a few bits of Peterborough Ware (Middle Neolithic pottery), along with pig and cattle bones; so this looks to be a tree throw that was utilised by humans in some way, filled in and then later burrowed into.


Flint end scraper and Peterborough ware pottery, beautifully hand-modelled by Chris and Jake ©National Trust/Briony Clifton

It’s our day off tomorrow, but we’ll be back on site on Sunday to continue excavating the features and stripping back Trench 9.


2 thoughts on “Foot of Avebury Down Dig – Day 11

    1. Dr Nick

      Hi Dean, a tree throw does what it says on the tin. It’s the hole made by the roots when a tree is blown over. In this case these are ancient tree throws. In the Middle Neolithic in particular there seems to be a frequent association between tree throws and subsequent human activity. Hope that helps, Nick


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