Day 23

10 Sep

Although yesterday was officially the last day of the dig, we quite obviously haven’t finished. There are still skeletons to remove and recording to be done, and there is also the business of taking marquees down and packing away. Marquee dismantling always has comedy potential as once the straps are loosened there is a good chance that the who thing can blow away with assembled team members hoisted into the air like Mary Poppins or the spinning cow in Twister.

Mike Page’s shot of the now almost entirely excavated SFB.

Smack my ditch up. Mike Page’s final shot of the ditch trench.


The first event of the morning is the buzz of a low-flying aircraft as Mike Page does his final flight of the year with typically great results. His pictures show the SFB fully excavated (apart from some post-holes that had only been half sectioned) and the mighty ditches excavated to their full extent. They also show some frantic recording going on. John P sits in a scatter of tools and paper, looking like the bewildered survivor of a plane crash, while Heather and the Dear Leader attempt to uncover the rogue skeleton that lies half-way down the north ditch. The skeleton runs unhelpfully into the section meaning that a very large amount of soil has to be removed before it can be recorded and extracted. Meanwhile Sarah B has taken on the role (usually bagged by Giles) of being the one who finds the Mesolithic at the bottom of the trench. She is soon happily lost in a world of microliths.

John’s filing system suffers irreversible breakdown

On the other side of the river Giles and Adam empty and draw post-holes in preparation for the final photographs showing the SFB in all its Teutonic glory. This leaves everyone else to begin the mammoth task of dismantling base camp. Fortunately there is a large amount of cake left over from the night before so all participants are able to spend the day on a constant sugar rush that sustains them through the rigours of packing.

Camp orders for Sunday – an intense day’s activity fuelled entirely by left-over cake.

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