A completely cloudy start this morning, but no sign of rain overnight. I had to add an extra layer over my T-shirt soon after starting the walk to the site and, by the time I was on-site, my fingers were beginning to go numb. It probably didn't get above 55 degrees all day and with a steady wind it felt colder; with no rain though this was ideal digging weather. Kevin replaced Beth in my rectangle, as she and Andy Birley dug some new narrow trenches nearby. Kevin and I got on with the task of trying to see if the line of stones Beth had started to uncover yesterday extended into a larger feature; with the team as a whole still hoping to definitively identify the ditch. I took the level down from the corner opposite Beth's stones about another 8-10 inches, revealing a natural clay level, with a fairly rich seam of Roman pottery above it. Here's what I had by midday, including a nail, and a "miscellaneous iron ring" (reconstructed by Beth):
Here's how the rectangle looked at midday, with Kevin showing the stones extended further, and me with some stones appearing, suggesting they continued fully across the rectangle. Andy came to look and was pleased to see that the stones are clearly the right type, although he wasn't sure what the stones represented, perhaps a berm?
As we paused for afternoon tea, one of the black-headed gulls that had been monitoring our spoil heap for worms came for a closer look:
By the end of the day Kevin and I had amassed around 100 pieces of pottery, and I had begun to move above a mini-mound of natural yellow clay:
But perhaps most importantly for the team, Mark extended a narrow finger of trench outside his rectangle and found a gentle slope of clay leading down to some dark black soil, clearly marking the ditch we had been looking for all this time…
The day ended with a pub quiz at the Twice Brewed, the Vindolanda team would have won, but for the three jokers played on us by other teams!