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The Bank Holiday weekend saw the start of an interesting archaeological excavation in west Wiltshire,  and Salisbury Museum Volunteers are privileged to be helping a local archaeology group – the Deverills Archaeology Group (DAG) – in that ‘dig’, led by an old friend, Dr David Roberts. It will go on only for the rest of the week but long enough, it is hoped, to identify a number of features, thought to be Roman, which have shown up on ‘geophys’.

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The really hard work is at the start when turves must be carefully removed (to be replaced later) and the top soil removed.

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Then the more careful removal of soil takes place, to expose the layers, other features (pits, ditches, etc) and small finds.

Museum Volunteer Claire Goodey and others begin the careful trowelling…

Early finds have included a variety of pottery sherds from every period – Iron Age, Roman, medieval and modern – a lot of animal bone with butchery marks, and sundry metal work, including shoes for oxen. This is, of course, mainly simple domestic rubbish indicating a site which has been inhabited more or less continuously for at least two thousand years.

On Sunday it rained…

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Museum Volunteer Alix Smith wields her metal detector. On an excavation like this, a metal detector is useful for checking that metal objects haven’t been accidentally discarded in the spoil heaps.

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The local church has been kindly lent to the group by the village and offers a base for ‘post ex’ – washing, sorting, identifying, marking and bagging the small finds.

Meanwhile, back on site, the careful recording of features – photographing and drawing – continues, before digging deeper.

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We hope to update you soon….