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Trench 3- large cairn


Jim is supervising excavation of one of the large cairns arranged in a grid within a large rectangular field. The cairns are possibly contemporary with the field, though continuation of the grid pattern beyond the field boundaries suggests the possibility of a different chronological relationship the field. Rabbits had beaten the archaeologists to excavation of part of the cairn and a Neolithic leaf-shaped arrowhead was found in their spoil (at least it wasn't in ours this time).

Trench 3 before any removal of heather and topsoil The arduous task of stripping the heather commences.

Preparatory cleaning after the removal of the heather A leaf-shaped arrowhead courtesy of some burrowing animal activity

Cleaning the cairn has revealed a complex oval structure partly sat on a large earthfast boulder which may be the result of a number of construction episodes. Parts of it have some formality in their construction whilst others have been literally thrown together. In at least one location large boulders may have been deliberately placed first to retain smaller stones added later. But we are still only a few days into the cairn's excavation and we can't interpet more until we begin to pick it apart.

The whole cairn after cleaning Cleaning around the smaller stones above the earthfast rocks

 

Large boulders supporting smaller stones Area of animal burrowing which produced the leaf-shaped arrowhead and prehistoric pottery sherd

 

QuickTime VR from Trench 3

QuickTime VR from Trench 3

On to Week 2...

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