Before we started our Big Dig all the volunteers made their way to the Parish Church for a safety briefing. After that, we collected our equipment from the Old School Rooms and then made our way to our dig site.
We had permission to dig a test pit in the rear lawn at The Grange, tucked out of sight of most of the dwellings. Anyone was welcome to come to the site.
The dig site was marked out in white spray paint the day before and this was ours at The Grange.
Steve Mitchell lifted the 1 x 1 metre square of turf and began to dig the first spit to a depth of 10cm.
A pit is excavated to a depth of 100cm or to natural, undisturbed sediment or important archaeological deposits. No machinery is used during this excavation and the turf has to be carefully removed and stored flat in an order that makes it easy to re-use when re-filling is completed.
All the soil dug out is placed on a sheet. Then the sieving can begin to see what is left that could be of interest
The first spit of 10cm
Time for Steve to have a lunchtime rest whilst the pile of soil to be sifted was growing
The lunchtime scene
Brian Verity, the Rothley Archaeological Warden, came to look at our pit
Brian getting interested in a feature
Brian working with his metal detector
Anita working in the pit
We hit clay at spit 9 so the dig ceased. However, this is the feature that could not be explained.
Re-filling the pit. Anita stomping in the soil. There was a lot to put back!
All the soil put back. The turf needed to stand proud to allow for the soil to settle over the next year
Brian in the background with his metal detector over the turf top
The end of a very enjoyable day at Pit 29
The Pit 29 Team 24th July 2016
l to r:
Steve Mitchell, Emma Dwyer, Marion Vincent, Anita Armstrong
Notes and photographs by Marion Vincent except the final one by ULAS