As we draw nearer to the end of our first week it is clear we have made some significant progress on site. We have finished half sectioning some of the features in the trench and have begun to photograph and draw the sections so we can start to fully excavate the deposits in them.
One of the most interesting features on site is a pit located in between the two flanking ditches of the long mound. The pit yielded very few finds however it is very similar in character to Mesolithic pits excavated in the Stonehenge carpark and those beneath Thickthorn longbarrow although radiocarbon dates from charcoal found in the base of the pit will confirm its date.
Perhaps more surprisingly the centre of the pit was recut at a later date, possibly during the Neolithic or Bronze Age, potentially being used as a post hole. If the earlier pit does date to the Mesolithic it represents a rare example of Neolithic or Bronze Age reworking of Mesolithic pits and may explain why the long barrow was constructed at the site.
In the terminal of the northern ditch we have also excavated a large lithic scatter deposited in the upper fills consisting of around 250 flakes. Refitting will help determine if the scatter was a result of in situ knapping or a dump of lithic debitage. This will also help us understand what the knapper(s) who produced the debitage were intending to manufacture.
The eastern terminal of the southern ditch has now been fully excavated and contained few finds however a cattle mandible was deposited at the base of the feature which we hope to radiocarbon date to provide a terminus ante quem for the construction of the ditch.
The 3 week long excavation (30th July – 19th August) is run by the University of Southampton in collaboration with archaeologists from the University of Leicester and archaeologist Martin Green. More detail about the background to the site and its excavation can be found here.