Wednesday 28 July 2010

24. Saturday 24 July 2010

The drums slowly beat, flags are furled and a weary band make their final assault of that hill – Sue, Amy, Rebecca, Roger, Pat and myself are the tattered remnants!

So back to work at Chapel House Wood for the last time this year – as there was still more planning required for the bone trench, and the revetment further upslope needed to be completely recorded; however our consolidated attack saw an end to this three-day demanding task. The day was fine with a light breeze blowing across the hillside so we were able to take down the other tent and pack everything away in a dry condition – an improvement on some of our previous years!

By lunchtime, all work was finished and Roger departed with the last consignment of equipment for the store and we left the site with Amy, Sue and Rebecca mounting a rear-guard, awaiting Roger’s return to collect the final Kettlewell equipment. An almost cleared site, as the morning wound down – leaving another year’s worth of humorous anecdotes, of new contacts, opportunities to renew old friendships and to permit a host of memories of past years and of the many interesting people who have made CHW such a unique experience.

Phil Carroll, UWHG information Officer

23. Friday 23 July 2010

Just for a change, we can open with a photograph showing the Wharfe valley in full summer glory – looking down from the hollow-way towards the famous lay-by and the road from Kettlewell (Grass Wood to the right of shot).

In the foreground may just be detected evidence of recent back-filling activities in “DJ” and “DK” - two of the four trenches on the slope.

This was a work session mainly spent in recording the site, Roger even forbade Michelle to touch a trowel! - and for once she, and Phil, enjoyed the pleasures of planning!

We were able to take down one of the excellent ex-military tents we have employed this year and returned this and other surplus equipment to the store. Meanwhile, Don, Amy and Laura were mapping the lower section of the excavated field bank as it ran across the open field with the trusty alidade.

Dr Tim Taylor, Reader in Archaeology at the University of Bradford, visited and held long and animated discussions with Roger, focusing on possible interpretations of this complex site.

For the first time ever, on location, we were able to hand over a completed Finds Register to the Site Director – “so thank you Bob!”

Site Director and Site Surveying Machine “Bob” conversing earlier in the week

Our trusty band was daily shrinking as, for at the end of the afternoon, we said farewell to Michelle and Laura.

Pat Carroll

22. Thursday 22 July 2010

Thursday dawned dull, overcast and distinctly cooler than the recent days – even the “summer village” of Kettlewell, the temporary home for most of the CHW workers this year, felt chilly and rather unwelcoming – unusual for this most attractive setting.

But, despite this introduction, the weather remained fine and dry and we were able to put in another full day on site – it was very much a time for winding down and finishing off lots of loose ends. The activities of yesterday were continued, planning the still open areas and carrying out further backfilling even to the extent of covering up the lower section of “DF” – see below.

A limited amount of digging still continued and Rebecca uncovered a bone bead within “DF” to go with the fragment of shale bracelet that Eddie had found in “DM” earlier in the week; and together with Eddie’s tiny piece of Samian, and the substantial greyware rim sherd that Roger recovered, these constituted the more interesting finds of the week.

At the end of the day, we said goodbye to Eddie, James and Barbara, and in the long-standing tradition of CHW, the evening was rounded off, back in the village, with a pub quiz – which Don, Rebecca and Michelle won.

Phil Carroll, UWHG information Officer

21. Wednesday 21 July 2010

We actually managed a full day’s work today, and even had sunshine in the afternoon. We received two visitors; the farmer's wife, who has always been interested in the project, came to see how far we had progressed, and our other visitor was David Thornton, the UWHG draughtsman, who inks up all the finalised plans.

The group was depleted as Phil was missing all day and Roger from mid morning – however, this did not diminish the amount of work completed and the day was most productive.

It was very much a planning day, with only a solitary figure excavating – but as this was Michelle, there were plenty of finds, for she was located in her favourite section of the “bone trench”…

Head down, trowel to hand, this was all we could see of Michelle – at times she disappeared completely from view!

Rebecca finally completed her marathon planning exercise within “DF” – ‘stone, upon stone, upon stone’ - much to her obvious relief. The rest of the planning went so well that we even managed to backfill one of the smaller trenches.

“Bob” and I were kept very busy plotting in the co-ordinates of all the plans that were being drawn.

Pat Carroll

Sunday 25 July 2010

20. Tuesday 20th July 2010

After an almost complete working day yesterday, the activities on site today focused on recording - both through detailed planning and photography – below can be seen yet another old faithful – an image of Roger and his favourite step-ladder – a perennial sight on all our digs.

Work progressed well until mid-afternoon when heavy thundery rain drove us down the hill to the shelter of Ghyll Cottage in Kettlewell – situated alongside a raging Cam Beck surging over the rocks towards the Wharfe.

The rest of the afternoon was spent here in bone cleaning, observation of some of the earlier finds and checking the digital “Finds Log” – however, the flow of items excavated during the day has certainly lessened, and there is nothing to compare with Pete’s BBQ pit or Michelle’s major bone haul of recent years.

However, what we may have lost in the quantity of actual finds, we could well have made up in interrupted work sessions this year due to the rain squalls – even the occasional spring, down near the road, has resumed!

Phil Carroll, UWHG information Officer

19. Monday 19th July 2010

Back to work at Chapel House Wood – now Week Three – Day Three and the excavation work continues across the whole site - still with the four different areas under close investigation.

The ever-increasing area of DF – known to so many from the ‘bone trench’ and the limestone pavement section downslope from the crescent shaped double walls.
Downslope, this photograph shows the three other smaller trenches (from left to right DM, DL and DK) below the hollow-way that cuts through the settlement site – in the distance, beyond the limestone scar, may be seen the original excavation area (DD) on the hillside.

Earlier CHW stalwarts will recall the “lunch tree” there and will be pleased to learn that both hawthorn trees are still doing well, despite our slight interference with their slow progress.

Phil Carroll, UWHG information Officer

Tuesday 20 July 2010

18. Sunday 18th July

Greetings from a bright and dry Haworth – some 20 miles due south of the CHW excavation site – we feel sure you will have guessed by this introductory line that something untoward has stopped play for today – to be honest, it did not even allow it to commence… Very low cloud sweeping down the Wharfe obscured the upper valley sides, everything from 150 metres (asl) or so was hidden from view and beneath this layer, heavy continuous sheets of rain fell. Roger and Don had discussed the prevailing inclement conditions and took the wise decision to abort the mission for today so team members could choose what they wanted to do with their time… we came home!

© Phil Carroll

This is the kind of photograph you may have received from the 250-metre level today had we ventured up to site and provided that we could find/see the tent, however there may have been fewer happy smiles!

Phil Carroll UWHG information Officer