First week of excavation

Photo 1

This year's excavations at Sutton Common includes four large trenches investigating the interior of the larger enclosure. Each trench is 30 m wide and between 60 and 100 m long, and the total area to be excavated this and next year is equivalent to four football fields! The area is divided in a grid, and recording takes place according to this grid system. Currently, excavations are ongoing in trenches
2 (E11-13, supervisor Helen Fenwick),
4 (G10-13, supervisor William Fletcher ),
6 (I9-12, supervisor Gavin Thomas) and
8 (K9-10, supervisor James Cheetham).

In 1998, we excavated the 5 (pre-grid) trenches which are shown here in black.

In 1999, we excavated grid square G9 and 10 trenches of 3 x 30 m.

Trenches 1, 3, 5 and 7 will be excavated in 2003.

Photo 2

William Fletcher, supervising the removal of the ploughsoil in Trench 4; here we will find what form and shape the entranceway takes on the inside of the bank.

Photo 3

Sutton Common has never been a site that produces much material culture of Iron Age date - indeed, the overwhelming majority of finds are of flints of Neolithic and Bronze Age date.

Photo 4

Exeter students cleaning Trench 6. Initial cleaning is undertaken with spades.

Photo 5

Once loose material has been removed, Trench 6 is cleaned of any remaining traces of ploughsoil and other modern disturbances.

Photo 6

Gavin Thomas contexting postholes in Trench 6. Many postholes have a 'darker core', the result of the recent desiccation of the archaeological timbers and the subsequent filling of the voids with ploughsoil.

Photo 7

Since 1997, Henry Chapman has used differential Global Positioning Systems (dGPS) to record our work at Sutton Common. All information is recorded against the grid system, and individual features can be plotted with high accuracy. This allows for informed decision making throughout the process of exploring the site.

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