Rain, Rain…Rain

Only Kate, Mike and me on site today.

I carried on drawing and Kate and Mike finished off removing the collapsed plaster and rubble above the flagstone floor.

The flagstone floor after Kate and Mike lifted the collapsed plaster. The rain brings the colours out in the section so the different layers of soil stand out.

The flagstone floor after Kate and Mike lifted the collapsed plaster. The rain brings the colours out in the section so the different layers of soil stand out.

Chris came with his class of community archaeologists and said hello. Maisie popped over to give us moral support but it wasn’t a day for too much conversation unless it was in the Hive Beach Cafe with a mug of hot chocolate.

We started with light rain and finished the day with a lot more. We draw using 6H pencils on a plastic film permatrace..which is ‘dimensionally stable’ (doesn’t crinkle when it gets wet) but on a wet day the pencil marks smudge and the mud comes off your hands onto the film. You don’t want to hear about it. Not a good thing when we are running out of time.

In frustration, I mattocked the section to reveal a doorway and a flagstone threshold, cleaned it up and stopped for lunch.

Taking the section line back 0.4m revealed a 2m wide doorway into the flagstone room. The line of the partition wall (probably a timber frame, wattle and daub with white plaster facing) can be seen on the left.

Taking the section line back 0.4m revealed a 2m wide doorway into the flagstone room. The line of the partition wall (probably a timber frame, wattle and daub with white plaster facing) can be seen on the left.

Kate and Mike had lifted the collapsed reed and plaster which had fallen on the flagstones over 200 years ago. Sealed beneath was a fragment of earthenware with a purple glaze.

In the afternoon, I marked up the plan and we took levels to provide relative heights across the site. Writing in pencil on soggy paper as biros are obstinate in water.

We then called it a day, met Sarah at the farm shop and took the landrover up to Hardown Hill. Kate is researching a PhD on burial practice in the 5th-7th century AD and Hardown is special. An Anglo-Saxon group of burial mounds in west Dorset. Well, the only one. The nearest equivalent site is over 30 miles away. Curious.. a boat load of invaders too far?

Hardown Hill finding rare Anglo-Saxon barrows in West Dorset under the heather and gorse

Hardown Hill finding rare Anglo-Saxon barrows in West Dorset under the heather and gorse

The heather and gorse will be cut before the site is surveyed. We found the earthworks and marked the area with posts. Got even more wet and went home. Last day tomorrow.

2 thoughts on “Rain, Rain…Rain

  1. Nancy and Martin, thanks for the site tour Martin. My, it looks wet! Horrible. I’m very interested in the A/S site. Never heard of it. If you need a hand with survey let me know. I’m very interested in the A/S and RB cross-over. I can’t find any stuff on it. Any suggestions?

  2. Chris, I summarised the Hardown evidence in my archaeological survey for the Golden Cap Estate. The report on the finds made by Dr Wingrave (held at Dorset County Museum) are mentioned in Dorset Proceedings for 1931 vol 53 but in 1968 V. Evison wrote more detail on the Anglo-Saxon metalwork vol 90. There are some good articles on early medieval Wessex. Dorset tends to have east-west burials without grave goods at this time while northern part of Cranborne Chase and Hampshire up to Christchurch have pagan Saxon burials with shields and weapons in or near burial mounds.E-mail me and I can send you more information if you wish.

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