The community excavations at Hallaton have finished for another year and have resulted in some great discoveries.
One of the objectives was to look at the Roman deposits and we certainly found a lot of that. Across the eastern part of the site was a thick Roman layer – we are not at all sure what this is but it could be some kind of made-ground or leveling layer or even possibly a garden or agricultural soil. There were also plenty of other Roman features, including a large ditch running along the western part of the site which had a post-hole on the side suggesting it might have been fenced.
The buttress and ‘plinth’ to the east of the chapel were uncovered again and Roman ditches were also identified running underneath these features. Interestingly excavations beneath the east wall found a cobbled surface at the base of the Roman layer which continued towards the plinth. Was this surface disturbed when the plinth was built and is this why there are so many cobbles in this section of the wall?
Skeleton 12 was expertly cleaned, excavated and lifted to join the other 11 Skeletons for analysis and the skull of a 13th was uncovered on the east side of the church. Like the previous skeletons the grave was full of stone with one being used as a pillow for the head.
One of the failures of the previous work was that we never found the corner of the square wall around the chapel and cemetery and the reason for this became clear when we traced the wall to the west Instead of a traditional corner we instead found a perfect curve and it seems likely that the other corners followed the same pattern.
Despite some very wet weather all of the recording was finished on time and the trenches backfilled. Photogammetry was done on all of the trenches and links to these will be available soon. There was also time for a demonstration by Andy Hyam of his Groma (the Roman system of surveying).
Finally and again despite the weather (Thanks to Anthony for letting us use his workshop and yard) the end of dig BBQ was a huge success with mountains of food, tons of cakes (including gluten free versions) and expert cooking of meat.