Welcome to the blog for the Caistor Roman Project (CRP) summer excavation at Temple Field

We will try to give you a good view of our progress, items of interest plus a feel for working on this years dig.

The most recent posts appear at the top so if you want to go through it chronologically please scroll to the bottom to start.

And thanks …..

In total 76 different people worked a total of 686 days with upwards of 50 people on site on many days.

It’s been a great few weeks, made possible by all those who took part and made it so enjoyable.
See you all next year if not before – finds processing at the barn starts soon – see Clarion for details

Anna Allison
Richard Anderson
Sonia Anderson
Alex Atherton
Elizabeth Barham
Andy Barnett
Jude Beckett
Colin Bennett
Paul Beverley
Charlotte Bird
Will Bowden
Lynda Bradley
Rowan Buckley
Ashley Bugg
Roger Burnett
Rob Bylett
Wendy Bylett
David Chaplin
Martin Clarke
Eleanor Clay
Kier Clayton
Val Cossey
Luke Daly
Carmen Daniels
John Davies
Tim Delaney
Giles Emery
Richard Gibson
Helen Goddard
Alice Goldsney
Natasha Harlow
Sue Harman
Lee Harper
Christine Hartley
Colin Hartley
Kate Hawes
Vicky Hawkes
Helen Hipper
Margaret Hood
Elliot Jackoby
Ian Jackson
Phineas Jones
Rhiane Keeley
Connie Lakovic-Brown
Hugh Lang
Cheri Laude
Sarah Leppard
Tom Licence
Caroline Lowton
Geoff Lunn
Barbara Marriage
Ewan Montgomery
Tony Mortar
Neil Moss
Roy Moth
Judith Naunton
Mya Pask-Zulkiflee
Rufus Pawsey
Mike Pinner
Franz Plachy
Jenny Press
Andrew Ray
Linda Richmond
Carole Rowles
John Sayles
Stewart Shaddock
Site Dog Sam
David Smedmore
Mick Sturman
Chrissy Sullivan
Jack Sutton
Lilly Taylor
Owen Warnock
Georgie Williams-Budgen
Jane Wirgman
Andy Woodman
Julie von Ziegenweidt

Day 17 Monday 30th August – All Over

All done on site – recording is complete, trenches are filled and everything is now back in the barn. Trenches have been covered in a permeable membrane for protection and the processed CBM has been returned to the trenches.

Now it’s just a matter of finds processing, classification and report writing to go!!

Taking cover
Geoff flies the drone one last time
Drone under a rainy sky
Trench 8 nearly ready – processed CBM lined up to go back in
Farewell to Trench 9
Trench 10 with membrane and added CBM
Protecting the excavations in trench 12
Darren from Kingdom Landscapes fills the last trench
Andrew sows seeds
The container is emptied
Tools lined up to go
And the contents of the marquee – and the marquee await the Flying Scotsman removals.

Day 15 Saturday 28th August

It’s drawing and recording all day today and packing up the finds in the marquee ready to transport back to the barn for processing.

Giles gets high for the best view of Trench 10
Ian scales the spoil heap for that special snap
Geoff snaps Ian snapping Giles
Adoring fans queue for a photo with Rob
Trench 9 is scrubbed spotless for the camera
As is Trench 10

We start breaking up the camp – despite wind and rain

And the bulk finds are all ready to go to the barn.

Day 14 Friday 27th August

Today is the last day of digging – leaving us 2 days for the final photographs and to complete the drawing and recording.
Here are the last aerial shots:

Trench 8
TEM8 ready for photos
Trench 9
Trench 10
Final touches in TEM10
Some of the finds trays from TEM10 today
Trench 11
Trench 12
A lovely mortaria rim from TEM12 with pouring spout.
CBM processing is completed.

Our guests today included members of the Loddon & District British Legion, some of whom are also CRP members…

… and a surprise visit from General Lord Dannatt, formerly head of the British Army and Constable of the Tower of London.

General Dannatt meets some of the Loddon veterans…
… and gets the grand tour from Will and Alan.
Ian does his Friday show and tell of sexy small finds …
… and feeds site dog Sam with his last pork pie of the dig.

Day 13 Thursday 26th August

Kicking off for a change with some of the small finds recovered today:

A lovely copper alloy brooch – Harlow Type ( mid first century) from TEM12
A carved bone pin from TEM10
Part of a very fine coloured glass vessel from TEM10
A partial stamp from the base of a Samian vessel from TEM12

Trench 8 has completed cleaning down to the tessellated floor and the two (or is it three or even four?) phases of the building’s foundations are looking clear.

TEM8 from the air
That tessellated floor

Tomorrow the team plan to dig a slot trench along the walls to more closely examine the foundations.

Trench 9 has continued excavating slot trenches in key areas.

TEM9 from the air today
Fun & games in the mysterious world on Trench 9

Trench 10 continues to excavate around the remains of the earlier walls and what remains (not much, frankly) of the apse feature, and the area outside of the walls.

TEM10 from the air this morning
A busy day for Trench 10
Rhiane investigates the point at which the apse springs from the north wall (allegedly)
Part of the handle of a beautiful glass cup from TEM10
High class vessel made of glass with a folded rim

Trench 11 is still digging down beneath the Roman floor level and continues to earth up prehistoric pottery in significant (for us) numbers.

TEM11 from the air

And over in the car park Trench 12 a series of post holes have been discovered and explored under the cobbled layer inside the teminos wall and Bronze Age pottery has been found in the slot being dug under the early Roman gravel layer.

TEM12 from the air earlier today
Potential Bronze Age decorated pottery from TEM12
A classic Emery posthole excavation in TEM12
And then there were three

Visitors today have included David Gurney (former Norfolk County Archaeologist) and the directors from the Caistor Hall Hotel by Brasteds, their architects and Goose the labrador – who were all treated to the full professorial tour.

Will points out that floor
Nick from CHH contemplates whether the oyster shell constitute an earlier fine dining experience
All gather around a hotel in the ground – Goose is less interested

And finally today we say goodbye to our students from Nottingham University who have all done a wonderful job and been a great part of our team – we hope to see them here again.

Day 12 Wednesday 25th August

Excitement today as an ITV journalist and cameraman arrive to film the dig for an item on Anglia News (being broadcast tomorrow).

Super find of the day is an implement, possibly surgical, from Trench 12.
Answers on a postcard …

Other small finds from today have included:

Partial rim of a fine drinking vessel
Handle from another fine glass drinking vessel

Visitors today have includedJames Alborn from Historic England, Anthony Jarrold (CRP Patron), and groups from the Matthew Project and the Restoration Trust – two important Norfolk charities.

Restoration Trust and Matthew Project visitors handle some recent finds in the marquee.

Dr Tim Dennis returned to complete the GPR survey of the amphitheatre just outside the town site.

Ian’s nature shot of the day is this fine puffball mushroom – subsequently picked and eaten by Nat.

And the mounting piles of rubble sacks of recorded CBM & building materials begin to resemble Liverpool in a council strike.

Day 11 Tuesday 24th August

Starting the blog today with a quick reminder of why we’re digging this site (again), why the trenches are where they and what were were looking to understand from them this year.

The Caistor Roman Project (CRP) has been digging in and around the Roman town of Venta Icenorum since 2007/8.
Much of this story can be found via the Guide Book and the dig blogs that can be found on our website https://caistorromanproject.org

At Temple Field (off Caistor Lane) aerial photographs clearly showed two substantial buildings (the temple and an ancillary building) within a walled temple complex enclosure.
Some of this has been investigated previously but we needed to understand this whole area more completely

Aerial photograph over the temple Field site with crop marks clearly showing where the grass grows less strongly over buried walls.
This plan shows the Temple and Ancillary building – and “teminos enclosure” more clearly.

In 2018 CRP excavated some trenches (TEM01, 02, 03 AND 04) around the Ancillary Building – see the 2018 blog and/or the interim report, both on our website, for more details.

In 2019 CRP returned to the site and excavated trenches TEM05, 06, and 07 – focusing around the Temple area itself.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPD) over the temple site before excavation – note the two phases plus portico associated with the later phase.
An arial photograph of Trench 6 during the 2019 excavation revealing the walls of both Phase 1 and 2 of the Temple Building
An artist (Jenny Press) impression od the Caistor Romano-Celtic Temple – the second largest (to date) discovered in Britain

Again see the 2019 dig blog and/or the interim report – both on our website – for more details.

After a hiatus in 2020, for Covid reasons, we have returned this summer to Temple Field for the third (and possibly final) time.
For 2021 we chose, and were granted permission, to further investigate the areas in and around the Ancillary Building to properly understand the phasing and dates.

Diagram showing some of the trenches dug in 2018 (TEM1 and TEM3) and the planned locations of Trenches TEM8 (A), TEM9 (D), TEM10 (C) and TEM11 (B).

A – Trench 8 (TEM08) was positioned overlapping slightly with the TEM1 area excavated in 2018 to investigate the walls of the south-west corner of the building and the floor surfaces and to understand the passing and dating of the phases of construction – and demolition.

D – Trench 9 (TEM09) was positioned at the opposite north-west corner of the building (based on radar) and again to understand the phasing of construction.

C -Trench 10 (TEM10) was placed over northern wall and potential “apse” feature.

And D – Trench 11 (TEM11) was planned as a small trench over what the interpretation of the geo-fizz suggested floor level.

We also chose to investigate via Trench 12 (TEM12) the area that had been identified via GeoFIzz as the north-west corner of the tempos wall and a suspected roadway,

As with all archaeology the results rarely match, often differ and sometimes exceed expectations.

Today Trench 8 has been digging further around the wall(s) of the building exposing more tessellated floors, revealing more demolished fragments of column masonry and beginning to make sense of the sequence of buildings.

Trench 9 has continued to investigate a complete set of walls, robber tranches and floor surfaces – the corner of the building is now very clear.

Although thoroughly robbed in Roman and Post-Roman times the foundations of the walls are shown to be substantial and capable of supporting a two story building with a heavy tiled roof.

Trench 10 has leapt forward from a planning stage and has been furiously digging focused sondages across the trench.
A new wall is being exposed – more tomorrow.

A lot of demolition material and painted plaster has been recovered from TEM10.
Plaster with coloured “leaves” from TEM10.
Rare blue painted plaster

Trench 11 has been further investigated and, whilst not (yet) revealing the promised mermaid mosaic, has been turning up a lot of pre-historic (probably Iron Age) pottery.

More grotty prehistoric pottery fragments.

Trench 12 plods relentlessly on … more tomorrow.

Trench 12 earlier today.

Today we celebrated the birthday of Alex (no year admitted) and Tony (significant year concerned) with a lunchtime birthday cake.

Tony cuts cake – Alan rushes to help.

Carley, the editor of Current Archaeology magazine paid her annual pilgrimage to Caistor and was shown around by Will.

Carly ponders her next Caistor headline.

And in the afternoon some of the local Young Archaeologist Club members and families were treated to a guided tour.

Day 10 Monday 23rd August

Into the last week and we need to get the maximum information in the time we have left.

Trench 8 today continued to expose a set of walls and exposed more of the tessellated floor.

Trench 8 from the air today
Eureka …
… its a tesselated floor!!

And lifted some curved segments of a column or half-column.

Jane takes levels for the Trench 8 plans with some of the portaloos as backdrop.

In Trench 9 the team continue to explore the walls, robber trenches and floor levels.

Trench 9 from the air today.
The corner of the outer wall is now clearly exposed flanked by robber trenches.

Trench 10 was closed today for photographs and planning.

Trench 10 from the air today

Further investigation starts in earnest tomorrow with a series of focused sondage trenches.

Rhiane points out the darker / softer robber trenches showing clearly in Trench 10 after last night’s rain …
… and explains the mysteries of the north end to Alan and guests.
While Sarah tries to make sense of it all on paper.

Trench 11 was reopened again and descends further in search of the longed-for mermaid mosaic floor.

No mosaic floor yet but a couple of bits of grotty prehistoric pottery

Over in Trench 12 the team wend their merry way via selected slot trenches and excavated post holes.

Trench 12 from the air today

The post-medieval field boundary trench along the north side is confirmed as such after a lead musket ball is recovered from near the bottom of the trench.

Visitors today included the Berghapton History Group who lasted the whole town tour and dig tour without complaint.

Will points out stuff to a near exhausted group of local historians.

A photo from Tony shows dig dog Sam getting some focussed attention from Nat on a visit to a sunny Trench 8.

Day 9 Sunday 22nd August

We’re back – as is the rain – although the forecast (as if) shows dry to the end of the dig.

Top find today is a stamped piece of roof tile – the first we’ve found at Caistor. Picked out by the eagle eyed CBM team from a bucket of rubble from Trench 8.

Will is working his network of experts to find out more.

And a couple of nature shots courtesy of Ian’s roving eye:

Butterfly on Gile’s tent
Horses grazing pastorally on the other side of our electric fence

Trench 8 has been working down to expose, and hopefully understand, the relationship between the two phases of walls now identified.

Tony holds a cute piece of Decorated New Vally pottery.
Giles stares at Tony.
Some decorated Samian and Black Burnished Ware pottery from TEM8

Over in Trench 9 work has focused on tracing a wall, and the return/corner, and further digging down on a complex set of surfaces.

Rob robs a robber trench
Wendy plays cat’s cradle.
Lots more to understand here.

Trench 10 is focusing on digging down further through the rubble layers, revealing walls and taking time out to postulate potential extra-terestial origins.

Overhead of TEM10 today

And lifting barrow-loads of CBM and other finds for processing.

The stacked harvest of finds from TEM10 this afternoon – and my cup of coffee.
Someone’s been eating a lot of oysters
The Loddon & District British Legion monster TEM10 sieving

Trench 11 has been quiet today.

Trench 12 plods on working around the terminos wall and a new set of slot trenches (sondages for the more sophisticated) to investigate key areas.

Aerial view of TEM12 showing the terminos wall and today’s slot trenches.
Chrissy cleans down the area inside the terminos wall
Geoff cleans out a slot to the outside of the teminos wall – aided by dig dog Sam.
Paul valiantly but vainly excavates a slot over what appears to be a post-medieval trench along the field boundary.
Lots of dirt and no finds. Looks like we can forget about the north side of TEM12 for now.
Giles excavated a slot trench into the gravelled surface and also identifies a number of post-holes.
Prehistoric pottery (possibly Bronze Age) from TEM12 today.

Guest visitors today included a group from CBA (Council for British Archeology) Eastern Region who enjoyed a tour from Will and a sexy finds show from Ian.

… and off they go …
… Will spins a yarn …
… and Ian thrills the CBA members with some exciting small finds.

Saturday’s visitors included John Session, Chair of the Norfolk Archaeological Trust (NAT) who own the land of the main Roman town site.

John is greeted by Alan, Will and Andrew.
Will points something out – John looks keen

Day 8 Saturday 21st August

Its the weekend!!
Today’s blog will be combined with tomorrow’s.

Day 7 Friday 20th August

Almost half way and it’s looking good!!

One of the new features of this year’s dig is being filmed for the BBC “Digging For Britain” programme, hosted by Alice Roberts, and Mya has been on-site capturing the key moments and filming “pieces to camera”.

Impossible to go further without a shot of the fabulous knitted Caistor Romano-British Temple created by Margaret – not life size.

Today Trench 8 completed the first set of drawings and began digging down again.

Trench 8 further exposes the wall and removes rubbles debris
Nat and Stewart expose the wall & clear the rubble spread.
A dog paw print in a fragment of a regular roof tile discovered late in the day in TEM8.

In Trench 9 work continued to explain the complex archaeology being revealed.

TEM9 cleaned for photos …
… and then it’s down to it again

Trench 10 has dug through the potential apsidal feature hinted at yesterday at the north end – now shown to be a mortar spread and is revealing a wall at the south end.

An enormous amount of demolition debris was recovered from TEM10 today.

Aerial shot of work underway in TEM10 today.

Trench 11 finished drawing and set out to dig further down in search of the tessellated floor – estimated to a be another 20cm or so below.

And finally, Trench 12 – where the return of the terminos wall has been clearly established.

A couple of shots of Tim Dennis carrying out a GPR survey on the presumed amphitheatre site outside the Roman town yesterday.
The early results are looking really exciting with more work being planned.

Being Friday we had a lunchtime show & tell from Ian on some of the small finds to date and some highlights from the bulk finds from Andy.

Stormy clouds hove over the lunchtime but fortunately no rain

Visitors today included Alice Lyons and Sarah Percival, two of our finds’ experts … and Radley the dog.

And landowner and CRP supporter Chris Skinner (and Rat the dog) popped over for a chat with Mike and Rhiane.

Late in the day John Percival dropped off a load of equipment donated to to CRP from Gressinghall – thanks John, very gratefully received.

Day 6 Thursday 19th August

A shorter blog today and no drone shots as Geoff has been working with Dr Tim Dennis on a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey of the presumed amphitheatre site on the edge of the Roman town. Very exciting!!

Trench 8 has been drawing all day

A rare shot of Nat on site wearing glasses – Tony holds the tape measure.

Digging has restarted in Trench 9 and a complex area with multiple layers and walls is being revealed.

Trench 10 is partly drawing and partly digging – and continues to produce masses of “finds”, most of it demolished building material.

And, possibly, the first signs of an apsoidal (as in apse-like) feature.

Trench 11 caught up with the paperwork before moving to dig out the lower contexts.

It’s all hands on (again) in Trench 12 – which today revealed the return (corner) of the terminos wall.

And at the other end yesterday’s potential post-hole/pad has been half sectioned and the area drawing nears completion.

Post-hole before excavation

A glimpse of some of the finds from across the site today:

Ladies hair pin – possibly medeival
A tool (possibly an awl or needle) made from an sheep tooth
An piece of an unusual Samian mortaria

Val Fryer joined the team today and delivered a couple of student training sessions on environmental sampling.

The backlog of CBM processing has been completed – all now up to date, thanks everyone!

And the side project to feed up site dog Sam continues – Val’s promised chicken as well as Ian’s pork pie and an assortment of student sandwich samples.

Day 5 Wednesday 18th August

Welcome to Day 5 – and we continue to make good progress across the site as can be seen from the air – with thanks to Geoff Lunn for the drone pictures.

Overview of the site – excluding Trench 12 which is behind the cars on the right.
Zooming in a little on Trenches 8, 9, 10 & 11

And our new CRP banner has been unveiled – thanks Alex:

Trench 8 has now cleared out all of the ploughsoil exposing the wall up to where the return appears, at this level, to have been completely ploughed out.
The rubble spread, as found in 2018, is mostly outside of the building.

Trench 8 ready for photos
Nat repeats her trowel and shovel pose
Nearly ready to photo – and then dig in!

In Trench 9 Wendy has finished the first set of drawings and the team is descending again.

Another wall seems to be appearing as well as a possible floor surface within the building. The potential post-pad has been half-sectioned with more to be revealed tomorrow.

For Trench 10 it’s been largely a drawing/planning day with many of the team helping with other work.

Giles sets to work on the drawing
Andy & Stewart debate the mushroom placement
TEM10 looking pretty crisp from the air

With the UEA students off today there has been no progress on Trench 11 – although a picture of classic horizontal archaeology has emerged from yesterday.

A veritable host of diggers descended on Trench 12 at times today

Whilst the Nottingham team were directed onto drawing the gravelled surface at the west end of the trench – after which we will dig some slots through the surface …

… and take a half section through the “suspected” post-hole.

Linda thinks she may have found the return/corner of the terminos wall via a mortar spread, the rubble-rich area to the inside of the wall remains rubble-rich …
… and site dog Sam lends a hand to Richard the Second.

Today’s guests were from the Essex Branch of the Historical Association who thoroughly enjoyed a tour of the town with Alex followed by a tour of the site from Will and a small finds show’n’tell with Ian.

Day 4 Tuesday 17th August

So much for the forecast sunshine – a dank and drizzly day for our hardy diggers and support teams.

Lunching under cover part 1 …
… and part 2.

Site dog Sam cruises the lunchers for some tasty treats as usual – here Ian gives him his very own pork pie, brought in specially.
Val has promised him chicken tomorrow – don’t forget Val, a promise is a promise to a dog !!

Trench 8 has at last removed the final spit of ploughsoil (c. 300mm) to reveal a previously unseen wall and mortar spreadl and will tomorrow work down through the demolition rubble.

Tony has now arrived and taken over from Nat as supervisor just as the trench starts looking interesting.

Trench 8 at the start of the day. The tarpaulin is to protect the wall and tessellated floor revealed in 2018 and reopened at the weekend.
The motor level and demolition rubble showing through by the end of the day.
Contrary to idle gossip there is no body under there.
Sheltering sievers in TEM8 this morning.

Over in Trench 9 the morning was mostly spent cleaning down for photos and the afternoon on drawing.
All is now ready to descend deeper down tomorrow – and to take out lots more CBM rubble.

Trench 9 spruced up for the photographs.
Wendy does the decent thing and draws the plan.

The team in Trench 10 have been taking out lots more CBM, rubble plus oyster shell, animal bones, pottery and an unworked piece of shale or jet.

On very limited evidence the team are now eagerly hypothesising trench 10 to be an area dedicated to feasting, drinking and wanton orgies.

The under-floor surface is now clearly defined in the south-west corner – within the apsidal area, proving the radar to be correct.

All is now ready to go deeper and take out the spread of building material tomorrow.
Expecting CBM by the barrow-load.

Trench 11 has dug further down and has now reached the top level of demolition materials.

The UEA contingent prove how many students can dig a 2m x 1m trench at the same time.

Tomorrow should begin to tell us what might lay below – and produce more CBM en-masse.

Back in the car park the ever-increasing Trench 12 team has continued to track the terminus wall and found it to continue further than initially thought – although the corner has still yet to be revealed.

A lovely base of a Roman glass vessel was recovered from the rubble inside the terminus wall.

The rain made the plough scars in the gravelled surface at the west end of the trench much more clearly visible to photograph but the edges remain elusive.

Puzzled archaeologists join forces to search for the elusive edge of the gravelled surface.

Sieving in Trench 12 has taken an industrial turn – sheltered under a large gazebo with buckets lined up to be sieved by context.

And finally, as weary diggers sleep, the main marquee silently awaits the avalanche of CBM expected tomorrow.

Day 3 Monday 16th August

The first Monday and we have loooaaadddds of people on site with all of the Nottingham contingent safely camped out and more of our members with us.

Sadly, the weather has been less kind – breezy and squally – but work carries on regardless.

Our poor generator has been much maligned recently – it’s old, smelly and noisy (as are many of the team) but has no name.
Today’s competition is to name the generator – please not Jenny Mac Jenn Face but something more suitable – with the possibility of a small and insignificant prize for the chosen winner.

Trench 8 – has proven to be a tad more exciting today with the exposure of a wall and tessellated floor from the 2018 excavation – now re-covered for the next time.

Tessellated flooring from the 2018 dig
Wall and demolition debris

Otherwise work continues valiantly to whack out plough soil – despite the lack of new photo record sheets – yes I’ve remembered!!

Over in Trench 9 – Wendy and team spent the day stripping down another spit across the trench – and posing for the camera.

Mrs & Mrs Bylett pose devinely whilst Giles and Richard of York look vaguely embarrassed …
… and Ian video captures a moment for Digging For Britain

What is being revealed today is puzzling – a wall where nobody expected a wall, some under floor surfacing and a deposit of demolition materials.

Emerging “wall” in TEM9
Demolition material in TEM9 – note the deliberate deposition in some kind of “feature” rather than a random collapse – perhaps post pad as were discovered nearby on TEM3 in 2018.

Trench 10 continues to produce vast amounts of demolished ceramic building materials (CBM) from a disciplined team of parallel diggers.

Action shot of parallel diggers and sievers in TEM10
Taking time to step back to admire progress and Rhiane’s raincoat.

The newly opened “baby” Trench 11 has today, with the application of cheap student labour and Mike’s focussed supervision, descended some 300mm of ploughsoil and produced more exciting demolished building material.

In the car park Trench 12 the team has has plodded on with the terminus wall clearly outlined although the expected corner has yet to materialise..

Linda and team plod on …
Carole combines plodding and posing.
The terminus wall is uncovered – note Giles’ “investigative” rabbit hole bottom right.

This afternoon Chrissy held a training session for students likely to be involved in the on-site processing of CBM.
CRP volunteers had a similar session earlier this month.
Work processing the CBM starts in earnest tomorrow as there’s tons of it and we don’t want to bring any of it back to the barn.

And site dog (sadly now less of a sight dog) Sam kept warm by loyally sporting a NCFC scarf.

Days 1 & 2 Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th August

This year we aim to share some aerial shots from the end of each day.
Today we have:

Looking down on Temple Field showing Trenches 8 to 11
A view over Trench 12 with strategically placed sieves and spoil heaps.

First proper day on site starts with morning prayers

The good news is that the generator has been fixed (again) so hot drinks are available. All donations towards a replacement generator are very welcome.

Trench 8 has made a relaxed start troweling down through the ploughsoil but has now discovered the edge of the 2018 trench – which confirms our trench positioning.

One for the keen eyed – spot the blue tarpaulin peeing through.
Nat demonstrates the classic trowel and shovel technique

Trench 9 was briefly opened by by Giles and Mike

Although interest seemed to wane later in the day.

Trench 10 – is also working down through the ploughsoil with a triumph of trowelling and mattocking techniques and ended the day with a scrupulously clean surface for photography.

Giles makes sure
T10 sieving team ensure no pebble is left unturned

Trench 11 has also been working though the ploughsoil.

Rob demonstrates the mattock tickle to great effect
Wendy running the T11 office
And digs in with the sieving
A pistol shot in a plastic finds bag …
… and some painted plaster

Trench 12 has revealed perhaps the most interesting features thus far:

Linda and Chrissy clean up around the beginnings of the terminus wall
Plough scars showing in the “road” surface.
Whilst Roger leads the way on the sieves

Highlight of the day (for some) was when site dog Sam christened Ashley’s bucket:

Ashley holds a “similar” bucket for the camera
Sam looks suitably contrite.

We also had a visit from the Battlefield Trust who were treated by Alex to a tour of the Roman town and the excavation site.

Week Zero – Set-Up

As always the pre-week starts on Monday with putting up th electric fence and moving the horses,

Fence erected in record time
Roger got a kick from this – luckily a glancing blow – bruises but no damage.
Someone’s less keen though

Followed on Tuesday with annual poo picking contest.

Come Wednesday it was time to load up from the barn

Emptying the barn

And set up the marquee – a job for our Royal Engineer contingent – and the next bits of our dig village

And mark out all the trenches with Dr Dave and Martin as sidekick.

On Thursday our friends from the Flying Scotsman drop off the rest of the tools and marquee equipment

And Darren (our favourite digger driver) from Kingdom Landscapes arrives to begin opening the tranches as Andy B starts to identify metallic small finds.

Think I’ve got a signal here ….
`ere look at this one Martin …
It’s in here somewhere ….

We had a successful haul of finds including:

A lovely lady’s bronze brooch with silvering …
… and half a man’s ring