Digging a hole

A while back WAS and CAGG combined forces to do a survey next to Datchworth church.  The mag survey showed very little in the area which is to become an extension of the graveyard, but the resistance survey showed a possible circular feature.  I reproduce the survey here for convenience.

Results of the resistance survey.

Results of the resistance survey.

We were then asked if WAS could put in an exploratory trench to see what, if anything, this circular feature was.  I spent a happy few hours watching a machine strip the topsoil for us.

Opening up the trench.

Opening up the trench.

At first, it seemed as though we had nothing.  The finds were certainly exciting…

The first day's finds.

The first day’s finds.

Yup, two bits of relatively modern brick in the topsoil.  On the Saturday and Sunday we started to clean up, trim the section and so on, expecting to find nothing at all.

The trench from the west.

The trench from the west.

Then as we were cutting the end square, we found a piece of samian platter (of Roman date) and some sand-tempered coarse wares which might be medieval.  These were at the bottom of the topsoil.  Below them, however, was a ‘cut’ feature.

Cut-like feature at the west end of the trench.

Cut-like feature at the west end of the trench.

This, however, had nothing in it, not even a fleck of charcoal.  What about the circular thing?  There appears to be variations in the amount of gravel in the subsoil.  The circular thing appears to be where there is more silt and less gravel.  I am not convinced it is man-made.

We’ll be going out again next weekend to finish the recording and check things over a bit more, but all in all, there doesn’t appear to be all that much there.

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