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Trench 1 Week 3


Is it a hearth, is it a cremation?

In last weeks diary we told you the pit located in the centre of the roundhouse which contains burnt bone and is encircled with stake holes was probably a hearth. Well, we're going to change our minds - as we have excavated more of the fill we have found more burnt bone and a small piece of folded lead which we now think suggests that the pit contains a cremation.

Towards the end of last week, some of the stones from the "pit" were removed for magnetic dating analysis.

More complete excavation of the feature from last week reveals an oval structure of heat reddened stones... ...and a circle of stakeholes (place mouse over image)

A close-up showing the stones that were removed for dating (place mouse over image)

 

And it appears not to be alone! Just outside the entrance we have found another pit, which is possibly one of the postholes of the house entrance itself, containing tiny fragments of burnt bone. This pit was found during careful cleaning of the ground outside the entrance after removal of a stone kerb. The kerb was aligned on one of the doorway postholes and may have been an embellishment designed to attract greater attention to the entrance from those approaching the roundhouse. More pits and postholes may be found next week.

 

Entrance area and new pit in preliminary excavation (place mouse over image)

 

Careful excavation of bone fragments from the pit feature (place mouse over image) A piece of decorated pottery from the pit feature

On to Week 4...

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