Tag Archives: flint

Foot of Avebury Down Dig – Day 15 (Captain’s Log supplemental)

Although not every archaeologist or archaeology enthusiast has a love of flint, I think I may be hard pushed to find anyone who doesn’t appreciate this find recovered by Phoebe yesterday.

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It is an astonishingly beautiful Early Bronze Age barbed and tanged arrowhead (Conygar Hill Type – and for those among you who know your flint, it’s a Type D according to the specialists on site).

I can appreciate a good bit of flint, but when I saw and held this yesterday I was completely stunned at the incredible skill that whoever made this must have had. Surely he or she would have been at the top of their game – the symmetry, size, shape and incredible edges of this artefact send shivers all over me. Well spotted, Phoebe!

Foot of Avebury Down Dig – Day 13

When Trench 3 was first deturfed, it was a quarter of the size of Trenches 1 and 2. However, an extension has been decided upon to make it equal in size because there seems to be a comparable concentration of worked flint in all three trenches and a particular increase of worked flint towards the eastern edge of Trench 3; therefore, today saw many of us troweling back our new squares.

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Happily, the extension has paid off. We’re still getting large concentrations of worked flint and we can also add a few tools to our small list – including another Early Bronze Age barbed and tanged arrowhead:

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There was also a lovely scraper, the type of which we have not yet had on site. It has been retouched all the way round its edges and I am reliably told by Josh that it is from the earlier part of the Late Neolithic:

Another artefact we have not yet had on site is a sarsen flake. Two were recovered from Trench 3 today and are pieces of sarsen that have been struck from a bigger piece. One of them (pictured below) has been struck from a bigger piece, but has also had a piece struck from it and has therefore been worked on both sides.

Elsewhere on site a small team slightly extended and then cleaned back Trench 9 and it’s looking great!

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We can see a few features in Trench 9, including the two probable pit features mentioned in yesterday’s blog post at the bottom of the photo – the larger one now in full view since the trench extension ©National Trust/Briony Clifton

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

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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

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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.

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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.