Extending to the east and the wall stops with a robber trench and
rubble debris discarded up the slope to the left, then we extended
to the north and the wall went on.
By the end of November we had 'L' shapes, we had 'T' shapes, we had
'U' shapes... we had no idea what was going on.
It was also decided to attempt
and recover a few more pots before the serious weather
closed in and we had to cover everything over again. A morning
of pumping enabled us to lower the water levels sufficiently to
access those pots lying closest to the wall. We also took the
opportunity to examine a couple of other features. Christopher
had alerted us to the presence of a flight of steps down the
east face of the dam so we cleared those with a little
archaeological weeding and we also attempted to answer the
question as to whether a wall had run along the face of the dam
by taking a look at the free section through it afforded us by
the later cut to drain the area. Meanwhile Verna continued to
run the finds department with quiet efficiency as we continued
to clear the backlog of finds from the previous month.
Chris squeezes onto a small portion of dry land to expose the wall
footings then clean up the next pot for lifting.
There are definitely steps here... somewhere.
Helen stands in icy water but with warm boots to expose... ?
Up at the wall in early December, it's all systems go as the full
extent of the baffling structures becomes clearer.
This section of walling in particular turned out to be rather
The last few pots to be lifted this year saw a fine example of what
happens when you drop a rock in a pot and after being photographed
and drawn it's into the trays, into the barrow and up to the finds
...where Verna sorts things out and we have a fine collection of
early Bovril bottles to admire.
One of the a saddest things
about the final couple of months of 2020 was that we were not
able to share this with those friends we had got to know earlier
in the year, many of who had been coming up from the London
area. Not only had they missed out on the archaeology but also
on the simple pleasures of just being at Hanwell on a fine day,
maybe a few arty photographs will make up for it a little.
Looking up the little stream to the south west of the site.
The lake and
the lonely Scots Pine on its island
Winter branches against a blue sky with a flock of Long-tailed Tits,
not that you can really see them.
The magic of the paper-barked birch, with the sun at the right angle
it looks as if they are aflame.
... and finally, the rather strange talk on the site I delivered to
the Banbury Historical Society on December 10th. peering into a
little camera on a stalk... I think it went reasonably well.
And that's it now until 2021when hopefully the vaccines will
have been administered, the pandemic will be under control and
life returns to something approaching normal.