So, what is happening in Hen’s area this week? Hen is in charge of the southern area of the excavation, with the responsibility of stripping the soils here back to the natural undisturbed geology of the site. Hen’s area is potentially one of the most exciting on site as this is all very new territory. She is well into the Iron Age, and with every post-hole, pit and ditch she uncovers, we write a new chapter in Silchester’s pre-Roman life. The features she is excavating are forming into diagonal alignments running north-east to south-west or north-west to south-east – clearly some form of early town planning is taking place. Hen is ably assisted by her Assistant supervisor Lauren, and her two trainees Charlotte and Lizzi. This week much attention is being lavished on ‘Scraps’ – a small terrier-like dog discovered buried in a shallow pit at what looks like the junction of 2 foundation trenches for a building (more on that later!). Grace has been lovingly working on this small Iron Age creature – and, in true Silchester tradition, has given it a name: Scraps! Grace did a lovely job and, in time, Scraps will be shipped to our animal bone expert so we can find out more about him/her!
This week has also seen the completion of the early Roman well being excavated in Hen’s area. This well was begun last season by Richard and Lauren – and this season John Browncontinued the good work by masterminding the shoring and crafting a smallbut perfectly formed team of well diggers: James, Richard and Ben (and Felix too!). Sadly although excavated in true text book style and with great aplomb – there was nothing of note at the bottom….this is a first for Silchester as we ALWAYS find a whole pot or two at the base of our deep features. But, not this time! However every inch of this well has been recorded, samples taken and finds lifted – so it will eventually tell a compelling story of early Roman life.