Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd June
We’ve had a very productive couple of days. We now have two trenches underway within our excavation. We are digging each trench in 10cm spits, recording everything as we go.
The excavation so far
On Thursday, in Trench A, we uncovered, cleaned, and recorded a layer of wood that we found within the lower organic deposit. Today, Friday, we lifted it and were excited to see that one piece may have teeth marks -evidence of beaver gnawing? Tomorrow the plan is to dig the next 10cm and see what it reveals!
Uncovering the organic layer containing wood fragments
In Trench B we have been getting extremely wet and muddy.
The organic layer here has produced some really interesting environmental samples containing many surprisingly familiar plants and insects such as ramshorn snails and iris seeds. There were lots of other tiny seeds that were too small to identify without a microscope but hopefully we can take them to a specialist next week.
Processing the environmental samples
Today we have dug through to the silts, below the organic layers, and found the water table! We even had to bring in a pump to prevent water from going over our boots.
We recorded the section in Trench B and started to extend this trench. Within the organics we found our first animal bones: a bird bone and some fish bones. These will be taken to a specialist for species identification so watch this space! I have already learnt about jumping the gun on identifying things myself! I have to apologise that the oyster shells found earlier in the week are actually more likely to be mussels but until we can clean them in the office we cannot be certain. Whoops!
The bird bone
This is all building up a really great picture of the environment surrounding Willingham Mere in the Bronze Age. It certainly seems like it was a wet place to be. Please come and visit us over the weekend to see how we are getting on.
Guest blogger: Hayley Roberts