Siston Newsletter – July 2022

The Glebe Field Dig

Newsletter – 2

Welcome to our second newsletter. 

We de-turfed our new smaller than planned trench 07 April 27, as the Res. Surveys plotting seemed pretty accurate. As I write this in July we’re feeling pleased with ourselves, we hoped for a wall and floor and we have both.

Firstly, discussing the wall structure, most has been robbed out and I think we’re lucky to have the 3mt section shown in the image, three courses remain with a width of 800mm. Conveniently, potsherds found within the wall fill give us a Saxo Norman date or possibly earlier, also found equine ‘fiddle key’ nails support this date. We have compared this to another nearby Saxo Norman site and the wall structure is identical. The floor though is rough metalling, we wonder if the cobbling belongs to a later period. However, as the weeks have gone by, we are collecting strong evidence of Romano British presence if not occupation. Zillah found on the edge of a robbed out area of the wall a tiny Barbarous Radiate coin dated about 340AD and a copper alloy ‘dress pin’? Unfortunately with the cup empty of its decorative element. 

We are also collecting Romano British Severn Valley ware; its amazingly good quality only matched by 12thcentury Ham Green ware also found near the same structure.  

All of our focus has been in the west Glebe Field; however, we have now carried out resistivity surveys in the east Glebe Field and have positive evidence of at least one more structure alongside a ditch.  The Glebe came up trumps again with a one-metre square test pit on the edge of the structure revealing over forty medieval potsherds. 

We now believe we have a 2 millennia multi-layered use and occupancy. However, the defining of periods proves difficult mainly as there is so much rubble caused by phases of demolition, making stratification difficult to discern. As the dig progresses our sense of responsibility grows. But this is rewarded when our Ukraine guest Olha loses herself while digging; the therapeutics value of archaeology is evident as she forgets all major issues for just a while.  

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