Tag Archives: Wiltshire

Durrington Dig 2016 – Friday 5 August

Another day another conundrum. This time its all about our pile of material that was sitting just to one side of our easternmost pit. What’s in it? Where did it come from? And what’s underneath it?

We know from the Ground Penetrating Radar survey that discovered the two large anomalies in the trench (our pits) that there is another much, much smaller anomaly lying beneath one edge of our pile. So we want to know what this is and how it relates to our pits. We don’t have the answer yet but we’ve been working our way through the pile and in the next couple of days we hope to have the solution.

Pile sectioning

Our pile being excavated


Where did it come from? Well its hard to be totally sure just yet but there’s some blocky chalky material in it which may  have come from pit digging.

But our pile holds many secrets and possibly the biggest surprise was the large lumps of chalk cob that we’ve found close to its base.  This material is similar to that which Mike (Parker Pearson) found when he and the Stonehenge Riverside team were excavating the Neolithic  house. Around the base of house  851 and also its outhouse there was a ‘collar’ or foundation layer of chalk cob at the bottom of the walls. Its a traditional building material used for making walls that you’ll see across Wiltshire even today.

But what is it doing at the bottom of our pile? At the moment the working theory is that it may have come from a house that was sitting on what was due to become the henge ditch which was demolished to make way for the henge and some of the material dumped here.

Chalk cob

The large lump of chalk cob with the flint scatter sticking to its base.


The largest block of cob held a final surprise. When it was lifted, sticking to its base were the remains of a substantial flint working scatter, and more lay beneath it. That’ll keep Josh (Pollard) out of mischief for an hour or two trying to refit it!

Saturday is our dig day off so there won’t be an update tomorrow but swing by the blog on Sunday. Or better still pop by the site and see us, you’ll find us just off the A345 about half a mile north of the A303 Countess Roundabout. Just follow the signs for Woodhenge.