What! 4 days of dry weather?
The last week (or 4 days of it) have been mercifully dry, not too hot and a gentle breeze. But all things must come to an end including the CAP's dig season (Agh). Recording and final excavation was concentrated on the western 20m of the trench as this will be backfilled in w/c 23rd August. A great boon to have Andy Bradshaw on board and Jade Fennell and Rich Best (CCCU graduates) returning to help context, plan and section draw as we try to get all features recorded before being either backfilled or covered for the winter. An extra mention must be made of Jade who has stoically worked 10 out of the 11 weeks as site supervisor and context supremo par excellance (its one thing to look up context numbers and quite a different matter to keep them in your head!).
Rich writes contexts whilst Jade plans one of a row of newly discovered postholes
Andy draws one of our typically ephemeral baulk sections of 3 pits in the soon to be 'lost' 20m area of the site
We were also pleased to see many familiar faces amongst the volunteers including CAP stalwarts Sarah Foster, Dave Ladds, Pete Tolhurst, Andy Symmonds, Bruce Milton and Andrew Foord. Thanks to all for giving up an hour or so of the day to weed and clean up the site ready for Saturday's Open Day and site tours. We are also sorry that many potential volunteers have had to cancel due to the short 3 week slot impossed by the Covid restrictions and hope to see you again next year.
Site visitors on the final day included Neil Griffin (County Archaeologist), Dr David Rudling and Sue Birks (who had driven all the way down from North Oxfordshire just to carry a bucket and push a wheelbarrow for half a day).
We had hoped for some remarkable insights from this eminent crew but like Luke Barber and Simon Stevens before them they all seemed as perplexed with our plethera of large deep pits as we are! But like Stonehenge its that perplexity that makes Bridge Farm special.
Sue helping out her old MSFAT collegue Bruce on the final day (good t-shirts).
We mustn't forget the sterling work back at Finds, coordinated by Nancy Wiginton and Mike Naylor yet again (one job that dosen't stop at the end of the dig season.
Whilst there is still a lot to investigate in the eastern 25m of the trench our valiant supervisors and even Rob Wallace, our project director, were looking pretty exausted and had to get back to their other lives so a halt had to be called. There is also the not small matter of getting the mechanical digger on to the field before the winter wheat is planted. As always features were just starting to reveal some of their secrets in the last hours (why does that always happen?). But the figure-of-eight kiln that was stuffed with tesserae, the large deep rectangular pit and adjacent pit full of burnt clay, plus the series of newly interpreted post holes cutting an older linear must await our pleasure under raps for 2022.
Rob ponders over what it all means
And guess what? The weather forecast says its dry for Saturday's Open Day!