Test pit survey
This year's test pit survey is being undertaken under the supervision of Helen Evans. We are using test pitting as a means of looking at the character of activities around the enclosure and linear bank that we began to excavate last year. This sampling programme is designed to look at whether there is any significant 'fall off' in the density, or change in the character of artefacts as one moves away from the enclosure. It also allows us to determine the character and history of the soils in the immediate area. This will help us to tie down the nature and perhaps even the chronology of the activities associated with the enclosure. Was it a stock pound or an area enclosed for crops? Did it witness some form of settlement and if so, when did this take place? There may be much that we cannot know for certain, but the test pits will help us to add some depth to the picture. Over the first few days, priority was given to the deturfing of the main trenches. As a consequence, the test pits have only just started. More information will be added as soon as it becomes available.
The grid of test pits has now been cut across the small enclosure examined through excavation in 1997. Very low densities of worked stone have been identified within the enclosure, and the character of these finds is consistent with the later Neolithic and earlier Bronze Age tools discovered last year. Pits are now being cut beyond the banks of this enclosure, and have so far revealed nothing but interesting soil profiles! This may offer some support for the argument that the enclosure itself dates to much the same period as the associated flintwork. Soil columns will be taken from the pits in the next few days for more detailed analysis. These will allow us to establish something of the character of prehistoric land use across the moor.
Back to Diary Page
Back to Table of Contents