The Lazerton Church dig diary 2015 – Wednesday 22nd July

Another day when we have come to grips with some the sites puzzles. We were also interviewed by Steve Harris from Radio Solent and had a visit from the East Dorset Heritage Trust.

The recording of the ‘southern ditch’ continues and the northern ditch, like most features on site, just gets less straightforward. The simple east-west ditch now looks as if it cuts an earlier ditch running at about 45 degrees. No idea what date the underlying ditch is yet.

In the church itself Sue finally found the inner face of the southern wall, the outer face having been located a day or so earlier.  It definitely appears to be much narrower than the northern wall (something that was indicated by the resistivity survey) which is a puzzle as I would have assumed that all the walls would be of a uniform thickness. Inside the building we have a peculiar sequence of deposits, some dirty gravel and other more chalky, with evidence of some kind of pits dug down into them.  Why is again the question  as the normal explanation of ‘robbing pits/trenches’ (dug to remove re-useable building materials) wouldn’t seem to apply here as there was nothing worth ‘robbing’. There is also no sign of any floor or floor make-up unless you count a rather lumpy roughly cobbled surface of small flint nodules. Still, there’s the inner face of the north wall  to define and maybe we’ll sort the floor problem out there. .

Alan’s investigation outside the north wall produced the most significant evidence today. About 60cm down, below the level of the lowest course of flints, he came across some articulated human bones, an arm (humerus and radius/ulna) which must be the left one judging by the position of the ribs. Now if this is, as appears likely, part of a complete skeleton, then it’s lying party underneath the flint and mortar foundations. So there were burials taking place here before this structure was built. Is this the first hint of an earlier, possibly Saxon, church?

We still have a problem with the east end of the church though. Where is it? Both north and south walls end within our 2014 trench and Cally’s investigation of the end of the north one showed that it’ s real, a nice, neat squared-off wall end.  But it’s an odd place for a doorway.

Three days to go with the forecast of horrible weather on Friday. And so much to do.


36 Alan explaining the joys of archaeology (at WAFA) to Steve Harris from Radio Solent  2015-07-22 11.55.59 37. Edrys tries to solve the ongoing problem inside the church  - where's the floor 38 Highly significant  - an articulated left arm(with ribs to the right) heading under the north wall