Knowlton Dig 2016: Days 15 & 16

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Excavating part of a ring ditch in our newly opened trench (Image: Author)

Over the past two days we have extended our existing trench over an unusual C-shaped feature and opened up a new trench over part of a ring ditch.

We have now revealed the entirety of the C-shaped feature in the main trench.  The ditch appears to consist of 4-5 intercutting pits however excavation of the terminals will hopefully reveal more about why the feature was constructed.

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The extension to the main trench with the unusual C-shaped feature clearly visible (Image: Author)

Originally it was thought the ring ditch was part of a ploughed out Bronze Age round barrow however, the feature appears to be isolated from other barrows in the area.  The geophysical survey also suggested that there may be a break in the line of the ditch, uncharacteristic of Bronze Age barrows, which was confirmed by the removal of the topsoil in the trench.

Excavation of the two ditch terminals has so far yielded high densities of flint nodules, a phenomenon isolated to this area and not present in other excavated sections of the ditch.  It is still unclear as to what type of monument or period the ring ditch belongs to.  Currently the evidence suggests a hengeform character to the feature however further excavation will reveal more.

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A student recording the flint nodule packing in the fill of one of the ring ditch terminals. The other terminal of the ditch is visible just behind with a narrow band of natural chalk marking a break in the continuity of the ditch (Image: Author)

Due to the low numbers of finds in the trenches and high quantity of worked on the surface of the field we have begun test pitting in the plough soil around the site to record densities of worked and burnt flint.   One of the ditches of the long barrow has also begun to yield more finds including a middle Neolithic chisel arrowhead and two flint awls.

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.

You can keep up to date with all of the latest discoveries from the site here on Facets, by following @Jake_Rowland1 on twitter or from the twitter hashtag #Knowlton16.

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