Today we have a guest blogger, Emily Banfield, a researcher from University of Leicester, who is a core team member of the excavations that have taken place at Avebury over the last 5 years:
‘Today we started to excavate some of the features that were revealed after the removal of the soil. In Trench 1, a small circular feature has proved to be a pit containing cattle bones, small lumps of sarsen – the same stone that forms the megalithic element of Avebury henge – and pottery, including Grooved Ware. This suggests that the pit dates to the late Neolithic.’
The Grooved Ware pit, half sectioned, which includes Grooved Ware pottery, sarsen stone and animal bone ©Josh Pollard
‘This find is keeping spirits up despite the weather. Apropos of appalling summer weather, whilst sheltering behind the portaloos we also realised that our transit van lined up perfectly with both a notch in the Avebury bank and the back stone of the Avebury Cove! A perfect alignment for a great day on site, getting into the features for the first time.’
Only two more days to go!
Timber post hole and with Josh for scale.
The posthole mentioned in the blog yesterday has turned out to be quite exciting as it would have held a very large timber post, with good-sized sarsen stones packing around it – see the picture with Josh and yellow bucket for scale. The post of course is not there, just soil where it would have been but the sarsens and packed chalk around it are testament to it’s existence. No firm date yet but the general gut instincts of those digging it are putting it at Late Neolithic. Finds from the post hole are few, with a couple of scrapers and a small sherd of Neolithic pottery so far. It’s still not fully excavated with quite a depth to go. Was this post on it’s own, or was it part of a larger structure or timber row?
Chisel arrowhead, scraper, scraper.
Despite getting to the last stages of the excavation we are still getting a steady flow of finds – lots of debitage (waste flint flakes) and a few arrowheads and scrapers.
The archaeologists are working hard now to get down through the last remaining deposits so that this site can give us as many secrets as possible before the excavation ends. The spoil heap is getting higher and higher, demanding quite a substantial run up to get the spoil to the top. Watch this space to see what tomorrow brings.