Sixth week of excavation

Photo 1

One of the most photographed archaeological features this week: Allison Roberts cleaning some of the stakes of the phase-1 palisade.

A press-release, describing the site as an uninhabited "ghost village" (due to the lack of pottery, bone and metal, the absence of any repairs to buildings and the near-complete absence of intercutting features) is well-received and covered by regional and national press alike.

Photo 2

The Inspector of Ancient Monuments, Keith Miller (left), being interviewed by the BBC. Apart from explaining the site to a wider audience, the press coverage helps to highlight the wetland conservation programme at Sutton Common and the role of the historic environment in the promotion of Askern, Norton and Campsall.

Photo 3

Sunday, 28 July: Open Day. We estimate that over 1000 people visited Sutton Common, many staying for an hour or more.

Photo 4

Gavin Thomas (with hat) explains the difference between postholes and stakeholes in Trench 6 (see below - photo's 6 and 7) and what the gray marks in the yellow Humber clays and sands actually mean.

Photo 5

The excavation of the well (or is it?) attracts much attention. The feature is about 80 cm wide, and over 1.20 m wide. It is constructed with stakes from a range of different wood species - this is somewhat surprising as this does not provide reliable protection against the pressure of the clays and sands. Wood preservation is excellent, though.

Photo 6

Faye Glover excavating three stakeholes in Trench 4. The stakeholes represent stakes that form part of the alignment which reinforced the ramparts; whilst on the western end, the outside wall comprised a limestone wall on the outside and a wooden revetment on the inside, on the south and east side of the larger enclosure the ramparts was constrained by two wooden revetments.

Photo 7

An example of two wooden posts in Trench 2 - these can be associated to the rectangular buildings or rows of 4-poster structures that seem to form characteristic of this site. Note that in the posthole at the front, wood survives (just) and that a second and smaller piece of wood on the right may represent a stave or wedge. It would have allowed the flat-bottomed pot the be maneuvered in position. The stones in the posthole at the back were used as packing stone; they have collapsed into the void following the recent desiccation of the post.

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2003: Week 1