The Lazerton Church dig diary – Saturday 25th July

Last day and lots still to do. Cally continued with the grave in the centre of the church and revealed the legs – what was exposed was cleaned and planned but not removed as the rest of the skeleton lies under the unexcavated areas. Much speculation about who this could be…

Drawing the long section through the centre of the church meant lots of close observation and inevitably discussion about what the various deposits represented. The ‘cobbles’ appears just to be the top of a gravely layer and the thin brown clayey soil that overlies it may be a remnant buried soil. This may help to explain why we have prehistoric pottery (including the entire base of a pot) and burnt flint at this level, it’s basically an old pre-church land surface. We are now thinking that the chalky/flinty hollows that appear inside the flint and mortar walls on either side may be the footings for a narrower, earlier church. As soon as I have the time (need a few days off) we will draw up the cross section and put an annotated version of what we think it represents on the website.

As I said a few days ago, we have answered some of our original questions but asked a lot more. We do have evidence, from the burial underlying the northern wall, that there was a cemetery, and therefore presumably a church, before the flint and mortar structure we have exposed and partially defined. We have revised our ideas about the construction of this later church and demonstrated that its western end must be of markedly different construction to the as yet un-investigated eastern end. And we have hinted that the cemetery, at least on the southern side of the church, appears to be very organised.

We will be excavating again in 2016, possibly starting a week later than this year (so starting 16th July) and running for at least 3 weeks. So, if you would like to come and be part of this exciting investigation then put those dates in your diary and watch out for the booking information that will go up on the website in the New Year.

I will be posting information as and when it emerges from the post excavation work and documentary research that we will be carrying out. And of course, if you want to have the chance to handle some of our finds then sign up to one of our autumn courses!

I hope that you’ve enjoyed our Dig Diary – I certainly enjoyed the dig, a fascinating site, good company and great cakes! So many thanks to all those who made it possible. And a massive thank you to Dan Carter from AC archaeology for his skill, patience and unflagging good humour.

Bye for now.
Julian Richards
WAFA Lead Archaeologist

50 The burial in the centre of the church  - cut from just below tape level.

51 The portion of the central burial exposed and recorded but not removed

52 Final GPS survey on Saturday

53 The central trench completed. Not as straghtforward as we expected