Day 5

17 Aug

The day starts with a visit from Wally Webb and the BBC Norfolk radio car. Wally’s a top man, and copes professionally with the fact that archaeology is essentially a fairly visual medium. Basically any radio broadcast involving archaeology has to start with the sound of scraping trowels and so Wally and the Glorious Leader duly stand next to the trench and conduct the interview against a background noise of dutiful scraping. The Glorious Leader thinks he’s on a roll when BBC Look East show up too for a bit of televisual action, but the footage doesn’t appear on the evening broadcast so it may have been ousted. Lots of people now following the Glorious Leader’s musings on Twitter too, utterances that are thankfully limited by the 140 character aspect of the medium.

Anyway, what news from the trenches? Finally John and Neil’s efforts on the north side of the forum start to bear fruit with a clear Atkinson trench emerging. There is also a small rectangular late Roman (?) feature appearing, which is made of tiles. There is some debate as to whether it is real, with John P in particular leading the doubters, but the Glorious Leader opines that it is indeed a “thing”, and we are treating it as such. The interesting thing about it is that it suggests that other activities are taking place in the buildings of the forum in the late or post-Roman period (as we might expect) but this is the first clear evidence of it. The wall of forum 2 (i.e. the second, smaller phase of the forum) should be at the bottom of the Atkinson trench but after much shovelling out of the Atkinson backfill it remains stubbornly absent. Hopefully it will appear soon or the spectre of Elf ‘n’ Safety will rear its head if we go below 1.20m and we’ll have to step the trench.

Meanwhile down in the “no longer Anglo Saxon” trenches in the north west of the site, the road is continuing to appear. It has a hollow in it, which is full of big chunks of pottery, which makes a bit of a change from scraping gravel for the team. More good news is that it was a bumper day for cake, with sponge from Sara, flapjack from Katherine, fruitcake from Helen and a plum sponge from Mick.

Today’s aerial picture is also courtesy of Mike Page and shows the lovely trench 7. The big dark stripe across it is Donald Atkinson’s trench. We’ve also got a plan of the site, showing you where the forum and the now non Anglo Saxon enclosure are located.

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