Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Day 5 - Gun ring and visitors

The middle day of any dig is known as ‘the flag’, because everyone is flagging. It is also the day that if anything can go wrong it will and that’s how the day started. Arriving on site we found that two of our trenches had been vandalised, nothing serious but an annoyance anyway. And then we dispelled the flag day theory…

The trench with the gun emplacement turned into one of the great WWI archaeological finds in Britain; the refuse/latrine pit extended and threw up more surprises; the other two trenches produced conundrums that will only be solved with further digging.

Today the excavation of the refuse/latrine pit feature continued. More glass, more battery cells and more rubber, but also bricks and metal rods as well. We are not yet at the bottom and we have not yet found the edges. The investigation continues!

So, the Great War Ack-ack battery is there in its entirety (minus of course the gun). It is now beginning to tell it’s own story. A huge polygon plinth has emerged with, at it’s very centre, the footings for the gun pedestal itself. Have any more of this type ever been excavated in the UK before? (No! At least, we don't think so. Anyone know any better?)

Yet more pupils invaded our trenches today. Another Primary School class arrived in the morning for a site tour and a dig in our ‘student trench’. And in the afternoon six A/S level Archaeology students dug with us. Is this the next generation of field archaeologists?
(Anna, David and Lisa 17 June 2009)

Going back to the original premise - some did indeed flag today. But only as a result of extensive and brilliant hard work! Well done to all of the team who have been battling with turf, soil pits, concrete and earth so successfully.

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