Pirton’s merry diggers completed two more test pits last weekend, edging our total up to 107 now. The first was in the western bailey of the earthwork castle (not in the Scheduled area!), and was dug to 1.20m without reaching natural. It appeared it was sited on a previously unknown probable ditch. The lower 8 contexts were undisturbed Medieval and yielded a significant quantity of 12th-14th pottery, animal bone, snails and tile.
The second test pit, in Docklands, was excavated down to 1.20m too and was over a buried ditch, or moat, visible on early 19th century maps and which still contains running water. The water was encountered at 0.80m (normally in Pirton the water table is not higher than about 1.40m), and the clay fill contained much organic matter and, at 1.10m, a perfectly preserved carved piece of oak, complete at 380mm long, probably part of an item of furniture. Unfortunately there was no pottery or other dating evidence from the context. Nevertheless, Pirton’s first water-logged archaeology!
Thanks to all the team: Alison, Graeme, Kevin, Kim & Josh, John, Nigel, Sylvia, Tony, and to our hosts: Pat and Katie & Greg. From Gil Burleigh, Pirton’s local co-ordinator and freelance archaeologist.