Tuesday 23 July – Mattocks versus Trowels



The site on the Common, before the fences were fenced (photo: Dr Tim Dennis)

Thundering downpours overnight left the site too wet to dig on Tuesday morning but by lunchtime the water had soaked into the chalky soil, leaving it a bit softer and easier to work during the afternoon.


The task was to define the edges of the buried ditches which run through the middle of each trench – not easy when the ditches have been cut into chalk bedrock and filled with compacted chalk rubble! Mattocks, used carefully, are often the best tool or loosening up hard or stony  layers, as here in Trench 1.


Trowels are being used here to clean back a layer as we begin to dig down and find the sloping edge of the ditch.


Sieving of topsoil from both trenches continued to produce all sorts of bits and pieces. This finds tray includes…

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