The second week – cometh students and special finds

The second week on site heralds the arrival of this year’s undergraduates from Canterbury Christ Church University plus a few from further afield. The site seems suddenly very busy compared to the first week. However Thursday and Friday saw them off-site and across the river for some surveying and geophys sessions looking for the Greensand Way, results awaited.

One of the oval brooches missing most of its outer rings

As the features re-emerge from the winter’s overburden and new areas are cleaned back and excavated the finds have started to flow once more. As well as the usual supply of Roman period pottery there have been some late 3rd to 4th century coins, two oval disk brooches (the first of this type found at Bridge Farm) and two bronze pins, one of which appears to complete.

Complete bronze pin

Because of the amount of artifacts coming from context 6050, a dark layer with abundant fired-clay that overlays the north eastern corner of the outer enclosure ditch and the well pit, progress on excavating the well fully will take a good amount of our excavation session; but we really cannot take this context away without due diligence with regard its content. And we can’t safely excavate the well until we have cleared the layer from above and around its cut. However those involved in this area of the site seems remarkably happy with their lot!

Sestertius from the pit base

Despite all these interesting ornaments the find of the week must be a  large heavy bronze coin. Whilst having lost most of its surface design the size and weight of this sestertius (?) should give our coin expert, Dr David Rudling, some basis on which to give us at least an approximate date. As this coin was found in the bottom fill of the pit in the SE of the trench it will hopefully give us enough to allocate this feature to a phase of the settlement. At the very least it confirms that this pit, that contained the Oldbury type glass bead and our only amphora rim to date, is of the Roman period.

Amphora rim

This pit has now been taken back to a correct cross section, photographed and drawn, including an amazing 360 degree photo by John Kane, which hopefully we may be able to share later. In the meantime here’s an old fashioned digi-snap from me.

The weekend was superb with the first year students taking a well earned rest and leaving the digging to a few volunteers, second year returnees, supervisors and directors. Yes even I got into the action with mattock and trowel. So volunteers take note if you want a nice quiet site with plenty of features all to yourself come out to Bridge Farm at 9.30 am on a Saturday or Sunday – I’ll see you there!

Deep pit (Feature 25) completed section

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