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Woodcock Corner - 31 October 2012

Day one of our excavation "blog" for the Truro Eastern Park and Ride site and the weather is being less than kind. At the current moment feeling just a little bit guilty as while writing this blog in the warmth of our mini office I know the rest of the group are out in this torrential rain and gusty wind. Had a taste of it this morning though and remembered the value of good waterproofs, some nice hot tea and our trusty little shelter where we have our lunch and tea break – mud city at the moment but so much better than being out in the rain so when it’s tipping it down it feels much more like the Hilton. One thing should be said though – on this site it seems the supervisors still muck in when the weather gets tough which is awesome for a bit of extra motivation – seeing them wandering around in the torrential rain slogging away with the rest of us always brings a smile.

It must be said our team is fantastic. We are all such a mix of people from different areas, of different ages and with different stories but we all seem to work together and mix so well. We all have different levels of experience and when one of us needs any help or advice another is only too happy to give a hand which has proved really useful in getting everyone up to a high standard of work. Speaking from experience as someone who arrived on site with less experience than many of the others I have to say this has been amazing. Having such an awesome and helpful team offers someone who has less experience the knowledge and confidence to grow their skills over time. I’m pretty sure that must be beneficial to archaeology as a whole, giving new blood the chance to learn those skills from the more experienced in a working environment.

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Anyway down to business… Yesterday, a much sunnier day, we all returned again to the Woodcock Corner enclosure, one of the four areas designated for excavation. We started this part of the site a few weeks ago, excavating sections of a mighty ditch. This ditch is made up of at least two segments, arcing round a slight rise to the north, forming a large enclosure. This might be an early Neolithic causewayed enclosure, or perhaps more likely, a stage in between this type of enclosure and the later Neolithic henges. The excavation by the team of sections of this ditch, after tons of relentless digging, revealed a feature much deeper and significant than previously thought and so now the team is back together and have returned to examine it more closely. And lucky we did!

One of the first finds since returning to this area proved to be one of the most significant finds on the site. One member of the team excavating a pit was lucky enough to reveal a stone disc with Neolithic engravings, unique to Cornwall but similar to artefacts found in other parts of the British Isles from Orkney to Wessex. It was such a buzz for the group when we heard the yell of the digger who found it, and it was an amazing experience watching the careful excavation of such an important piece. Currently loads of pot, some decorated and in really good condition, have been found, including a few nice Neolithic Grooved Ware pieces found today. At the moment we are all digging features, many of them pits, either within the enclosure or outside it and are all waiting for the next find to match or even better the importance of the disc.

Photographs:

The female members of the team sheltering from the rain

Angela with the engraved slate disc

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