Thursday 26th July

Our days on site get busier as we pass the half way mark. Thursday is always a busy day as it is the day I lay on talks and demonstrations, so there is a constant traffic in and out of the trench.

Today I give a talk to my long-time favourites: the Wokingham U3A led by Alan Povall. Alan and his group have visited us every single year of the excavation – and I have given them a tour each and every year. They are one of my most favourite groups: interested, polite and always enthusiastic whatever the site conditions. This year I was able to reward them; as we passed by the mid to late 1st century AD well being excavated by Ben, Richard and James….James pulled out a very large, mud-covered object. Cradling it in his arms he climbed out of the trench and Alan and his group were treated to the site of a first for Silchester: half of a saddle quern in beautiful condition. The slope of the stone invited constant touching… everyone filed past they stroked the quern in almost silent homage…a wonderful find.

We ended the day with a site tour by Mike Fulford, and I reflected on how much progress we have made over the last 4 weeks. Against all odds we have continued excavation, and have been rewarded with: 3 new wells, at least 2 new round houses, up to 3 new rectangular buildings and a plethora of post-hole alignments. Natural geology is also creeping slowly over the western half of the trench….

Day Off Friday beckons….!

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