Monday, 14 July 2008

Tales of the Bustard

Apologies, dear reader, for leaving you hanging with the tales of the Bustard - our heroes in the rain with only a cake to sustain... Unfortunately the rain meant that we had to work twice as hard on the remaining 3 days to achieve our ends, so blogging rather suffered.

So, I hear you cry, what DID happen?

We opened several areas, some of which were blank and one of which had the most marvellous section of trench in it. The picture is here:

Image Copyright:Defence Estates

Scale is 1m vertical and 2m horizontal. The stain running along the base of the trench is believed to be the marks left by a rotted trench board.

Oddly there were no 1914-18 finds, by contrast to the 2006 dig when we found lots of materiel. This suggests that the soldiers were made to clear up after their exercise.

One find that did turn up was a Prehistoric flint in the backfill of another comunication trench. It just goes to show that the archaeological landscape is indeed a palimpsest, layered and full of artefacts stories and meanings.

Copyright: Defence Estates

Happily the Bristol students were still smiling when they left us (maybe with relief at leaving) and all agreed that it had been an interesting and useful week.

We would have prefered to have found more evidence of the use of the trenches but the excavated section does show that the soldiers were digging proerfeatures to the prescribed deoth to afford head cover and to keep you relatively safe in the battlespace in Flanders or France. Good training? It looks like it!

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