Day 14

29 Aug

Giles’ World of the Anglo Saxons is a reality. We have Anglo Saxon pottery from the possible sunken featured building, which can now be upgraded from possible to probable. Soon even Kathryn of the Small Finds Tent may believe it, although as a lawyer she thinks that archaeologists make most things up, particularly post-holes. Early Anglo Saxon pottery is unmistakably rubbish. It is hand-made rather than wheel-turned and tends to be poorly fired and much softer than Roman pottery which will generally survive a nuclear attack. In the olden days before the Anglo-Saxons were reinvented as Germanic lifestyle advisers (© Heinrich Harke) this was seen as an indication that they were beastly Teutonic barbarians, with their inability to turn out a nice pot a sign of wider inadequacies. Now, however, it merely shows that they were expressing their diverse identities through different media, which apparently included making pottery that fizzes like Alka Seltzer if you drop it in water.

Expanding the ditches trench to create a sweeping vista


Elsewhere the extension trenches to Giles’ empire on the other side of the river are being staffed exclusively by people called Tony. They are finding the enclosure ditches around the probable Anglo-Saxon building plus a lot of gravel.

In the World of the Big Ditches, the trenches into the ditches are now being expanded to sample the material on the edges of the ditches and also to enable us to reach the bottom in an Elf and Safety compliant fashion. They are also being expanded because the Dear Leader wants a glorious sweeping Mortimer Wheeler-style section through all the ditches and doesn’t think the current trench width looks impressive enough.

Friday is also quiz and barbecue night. Heather and Giles come to join the campers with Giles armed with a luminous frisby. The quiz is riven with dispute over the correct name of the Chinese currency, but Ian is quizmaster and his decision is final.

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