After yesterday afternoon’s colossal effort, this morning was sedate. Georgina & I spent the morning cleaning the worst off some of the finds so that they could be stored until it was time for proper cleaning and analysis. We also had a look at the trench & put a few sods back in place. The rest need to go down. Weather permitting, I will probably do that on my lonesome on Friday (unless anyone is fool enough to come & help). Rain is forecast tomorrow which should mean it won’t be as hot as it was when we refilled the trench yesterday.

T1 – turfs up but they need to go down

Georgina managed to get a Find Of The Day! She spotted a small piece of pottery among the sods and it turned out to be a rim sherd from a late Medieval/early Post Medieval vessel – quite a fancy one too. It is quite finely potted with glaze both inside & outside, possibly from something like a drinking bowl.

Find Of The Day – rim sherd of a late Medieval/early Post Medieval vessel
Beasts Of The Day were a colony of pond skaters making the most of the available water, cute little things & very soothing to watch them.
That is pretty much it for these daily write ups. There will be updates as and when new developments emerge – particularly as we start the post excavation process. Keep your eyes open for sessions you can join in with on the Future Events page.
My thanks are extended to all those who have helped or come to visit us – especially Catherine, Gayle & Steven who put in many hours of hard work, also Georgina, Idris & Peter – and to our hosts who gave us such luxurious quarters as our site hut.
It has been an odd fortnight or so – we arrived on site expecting to find remnants of the Medieval occupation site and have ended up with what looks like a prehistoric knapping site. That’s Pendle’s Hidden Valley and archaeology for you – ask them questions and you are always going to be surprised by the answers.
Alex Whitlock
Beasts Of The Day – a whole bunch of them there critters

Today we started on our first ‘proper’ context (image below). In other words the first undisturbed archaeological layer. We were still finding Victorian material and prehistoric chert but we have also unearthed some Medieval pottery.

Tench 1 Context 2

The first & best sherd of Medieval pot was found by Steve and is our Find Of The Day. It probably comes from the house that preceded the current one. This would almost certainly have been a timber framed building.

Find Of The Day – yellow/green glazed Medieval pot sherd

Beast Of The Day went to lawn grub that greeted us in the morning.

Please note that even if the weather is misbehaving we will still be working at the dig site. Our wonderful facilities mean we can start cleaning the finds and assessing the site based on what we have found.

Alex Whitlock

First day of our closed dig in hidden fold of the Hidden Valley. Well second day really – yesterday we de-turfed trench one (T1) and it was a case of many hands make light work.

Anyway back to today. We spent the whole day removing the top and sub soil – basically this meant the top 200 mm or so. We are now on the top of our first context which is probably only a century or so old. That said the finds from today spanned about 8000 years. The newest things were Victorian, the oldest Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age), and in between a tiny fragment that is probably from a nearby Tudor building.

Trench 1 – clearing the sub soil

Find of the day was a suprise. We found quite a bit of worked chert, used for making stone tools in prehistory, but that is not unexpected in the Hidden Valley. What we haven’t found before is what most people see as the staple for prehistoric toolmakers – flint. Today that changed when Catherine found our Find Of The Day. It’s a tiny Late Mesolithic/Early Neolithic microlith with a burin (a sort of gouge) knapped onto it. The burin is the pointy bit.

Day 1 – Find Of The Day – Mesolithic flint microlith

Beast Of The Day at the top of the page is the odd tiny Eriosomatinae or Woolly Aphid to it’s chums. Strange little thing isn’t it? Is minute is Word Of The Day?

Please note that even if the weather is misbehaving we will still be working at the dig site. Our wonderful facilities mean we can start cleaning the finds and assessing the site based on what we have found.

Alex Whitlock