Author Archives: (not a Dr) Michele

About (not a Dr) Michele

Michele Drisse is the National Trust Curatorial Assistant for the Alexander Keiller Museum, Avebury. She studied at the University of Reading and her Masters dissertation, entitled Modified Stone of the Avebury Landscape, concentrated on polissoirs, polishing stones, found incorporated within the monuments and in the wider landscape.

Avebury Dig 2014 – Day 16 and backfilling

The end is nigh!

As the excavation draws to a close, the diggers are frantically getting as much done as possible before backfilling begins.

 

Professor Mike Parker Pearson getting stuck in.

Professor Mike Parker Pearson getting stuck in. Note the natural peri-glacial striations in the surface.

On the day Professor Mike Parker Pearson of UCL visited, a beautiful British oblique arrowhead, dating to the Late Neolithic, came to light. Often associated with henges and Grooved Ware pottery, this type of arrowhead requires delicate work and is produced with only one barb.

Does the shape of a British oblique arrowhead look familiar? Was this an artististic influence for the Star Trek logo?!

Does the shape of a British oblique arrowhead look familiar? Was this an artistic influence for the Star Trek logo?!

As you know, Friday is the diggers’ day off but Friday 8th August was the last day of the dig and the ground had to be, ‘made good’. Backfilling was completed mechanically and by hand and the turf re-laid by a human chain.

Looks like a new great British pastime - queuing for turf!

Looks like a new great British pastime – queuing for turf!

The equipment was packed up, gazebos dismantled and the diggers rested in possibly the most comfortable seats on site – upturned wheelbarrows!

At the end of the 17th day, the diggers rested...on upturned wheelbarrows.

At the end of the 17th day, the diggers rested…on upturned wheelbarrows.

All that remained on Saturday morning to show that the team was ever there was a pile of Heras fencing awaiting collection…oh, and two portaloos which will soon be but a distant memory!

Watch the blog for an end of dig post.

 

Avebury Dig 2014 – Day 3

Removal of the backfill continued and we’re now down into untouched deposits.

Finds so far have included worked flint, possible Mesolithic bladelets and medieval pottery sherds but it’s early days…

Dame Helen Ghosh, Director General of the National Trust (in blue in photo), visited Avebury and spent over an hour at the dig, in temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun! She discussed the work with Dr Nick, Dr Alistair Pike (right of photo), Dr Josh Pollard, Dr Mark Gillings and our very own Dr Ros, not to mention the students from the Universities of Southampton and Leicester.

 

Dame Helen Ghosh, Director General of the National Trust, visits the dig

Dame Helen Ghosh, Director General of the National Trust, visits the dig.