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Whitehall Villa report

posted Jul 10, 2010, 3:53 AM by A Standish   [ updated Jun 15, 2011, 12:42 AM ]
Summer 2011
This years 2011 dig is now up and running and already NARc detectorists have been on site each day. 2 roman coins have been recovered [by Dave D.] along with various pieces of iron. Talking of which, Nigels first task onsite was to help identify the boundaries of the possible forge area, that was discovered last year. He was quickly into his stride and soon marked out the Northern end of the area. It looks to be quite a big area and has some interesting possibilities.

Summer 2010

This years 2010 dig, proved to be a very exciting one with many interesting features and artefacts being revealed. N.A.R.C members managed an onsite presence on every day but one, of the dig. The spoilheaps were searched thoroughly. The first day also resulted in an area to the right of BH2, being found to be highly contaminated with metal shards. Thanks to a donation of powerful magnets, N.A.R.C. were able to pass these onto Stephen Young and Tony Harrison, who then set about tasking a colleague [John] to scrape the area and retrieve the metal filings. All in all, this activity was repeated at least 3 times and a clear working area was defined and confirmed by the Detectorists and John the scraper. Early analysis of the shards suggest irregular shapes, which could be hammerscale.

The first coin of the dig fell to Alan, who found a 1797 George 3rd Cartwheel penny literally a couple of millimetres below the surface, in the field close to Villa 1. As the dig progressed a chat with the site finder Dave D, revealed that the Cartwheel penny was likely to be the remnants of a previous Open Day event. Analysis of the find spot, revelaed that last years caravans were placed over the area, thus the area had remained undetected for several years.

Soon after that find, a roman nummus came off the spoilheap. Tony, with his new machine and novel scraping tool, proved to be a dab hand at spoilheap searching. Recovering most of the spoilheap coins, including a radiate from the old spoilheap of Bath House 1.

As the weeks went by our members regular onsite presence became accepted, as we recovered a large amount of hobnails from the protovilla spoilheaps. Until this year, i gather very few hobnails had been recovered. This will add another dimension for others involved in the project analysis.

Peter H and David G proved to be enthusiastic club members, joining in the spoilheap searching when time allowed. Dave D and Tim B were regular visitors and as per usual the experience of Dave, resulted in a beautiful find next to the long beams of wood. It has yet to be cleaned up, but its an interesting artefact possibly associated with wood splitting.

The final totals have yet to be confirmed, but its in the region of 12 coins, 2 brooches, 2 rings, 1 fibula fragment and well over 20 hobnails, to name but a few. A full report will be revealed in due course.

Our thanks must go to all at C.L.A.S.P. and Whitehall farm, for encouraging us to support their work. We very much look forward to working with you on other projects. Thank you to everyone at N.A.R.C. who participated in this event. I hope to see you all at our next club meeting.