Friday, 21 August 2015

A visit to Maids Moreton Mound

We visited the dig at “Maids Moreton Mound” on a warm and sunny morning, Monday 17 August, the first day of the second and final week of the dig.  The first thing we learned was - it isn’t a mound, it’s a platform!  Tim Upton-Smith kindly gave us an overview of the findings so far, explaining that they had uncovered a (6 metre?) square of yard stone and had chosen to dig 4 sondages at strategic points, guided by the geo-physical scan previously conducted. 

8 or 9 volunteers were hard at work in those sondages with various sizes of trowel, meticulously clearing the soil away.  In one corner, Barbara (bottom right in picture) was excavating a previously identified deep pit - she was already over a metre down and there was clear evidence that the pit was lined with stone but the purpose of the pit remained unclear.  In another corner (top centre of picture), Lynn, Rhian and Glynis had uncovered a large flat stone and some pink soil, which was an indication of (???)

The round bowl (ignore the green mat)
In one of the other sondages we were fascinated to see them slowly and tentatively unearthing a round bowl which was buried just below the yard stone level and contained clear evidence that it had been used to burn something, as yet unidentified. 

A few meters away someone else was meticulously sieving the soil which had already been removed. 
This dig is the second of two (so far) at this site.  Sadly, we had just missed an exhibition at Buckingham Old Gaol Museum, where all the findings in the two trenches dug on the earlier dig last year had been displayed.  We were told that all those findings had been mediaeval and that the yard stone had been laid down immediately on top, so was also of around that era. 

We felt privileged to have witnessed the work at close hand and are very grateful for the warm welcome we received.

Linda Knights and Bronwen Lee

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