Around Friday lunchtime, the Glorious Leader is distracted from some purposeful chin scratching by John P. asking the immortal question “What would you least like to find the day before the end of the dig?” There are lots of possible answers to this question, usually involving large numbers of dead bodies or alternatively a WW2 air raid shelter under a lot of levels that you have been happily digging as Roman. In this case, what had been found was a fairly complete chunk of burnt building, probably contemporary with the burnt stuff in trench 7.
The key aspect of these burnt things is that they appear to represent a phase of building that is earlier than Atkinson’s forum 1 (the first masonry forum). So perhaps a forum built with timber and clay lump walls (as represented by the clay with painted plaster in trench 8 ) that burnt down and was replaced by a masonry forum. This is an excellent find and worth the price of admission alone, but does leave some really brilliant and complex archaeology to be dealt with in the 36 hours or so before the dig is due to finish. Oh bugger, as Mortimer Wheeler might have said (while twirling his moustache in a rakish fashion).
Meanwhile down in trench 5 (in the north-west) Giles has found the Mesolithic. Again. Frankly he cannot be trusted to dig anywhere at Caistor as he always finds the Mesolithic, which is now our most consistently present period (bar the Roman). Next time Giles, if you can’t find the Iron Age, just stop. Enough of these bladelets.