Excavation blog by Ross Morrison

Our third day of excavation started in the same manner as yesterday, with cold and windy weather. We continued to trowel down to the next layers of the trench so we could see what was there, allow us to take more photos and start some section drawing. The top part of the trench revealed more nails from the millennium bonfire and a small piece of copper. The bottom of the trench revealed a more exciting discovery as a possible section of the lower rampart appeared. The stones sit 14 metres down from the top rampart that has been excavated already and the measurements from earlier work of the rampart that continues up towards Crow Hill are 14 to 15 metres apart. This suggests that if the wall continues parallel, as we would expect, then the first part of the bottom rampart will be where we were digging. This seems to be the case and is very promising, but it will need to be excavated further next week to gain a clearer picture.

As has been mentioned on other blog entries the interest from the public has been brilliant to see and this continued today as many people were keen to hear what we were doing and learn about the archaeology of the park. It is great to see how fascinated people have been and hopefully some are reading this blog!

Survey blog by Elizabeth Coleman

Today was a busy day for the survey team! We began by hiking up Salisbury Crags to continue our erosion mapping project and the magnetometer survey. Once we made it up the hill and found the edge of our grid from the previous day, we used GPS today to lay out three new 30m grids to survey. Much of the day was spent using the resistivity meter to map potential archaeological features in the soil, and by the end of the day, we had completed all the grids we had laid out. We look forward to processing the results.

While some of the team worked on carrying out the magnetometer survey, two of us were mapping erosion on pathways along the top of the Crags caused by both park visitors and climatic change. Erosion was photographed and marked on the LiDAR map of the park so the data can be accessed and studied later.

Survey blog by Beth Harker

Today we continued the survey work along Samson’s Ribs, including the use of a Total Station and GPS to map points along the rampart that once surrounded the hillfort. Additionally, we created written descriptions of the hillfort and took photos of some of its significant features, such as the rampart and large facing stones. 

After lunch, we moved up onto Salisbury Crags to carry out similar surveying techniques including taking GPS points of the outer edge of the dry-stone wall visible on the bank, as well as taking pictures and making written descriptions of the stones and rampart along the top edge, which have been significantly eroded and may possibly have been removed at some point. Furthermore, we also moved on to mapping the severity of the erosion of the rampart and will continue this on Monday.