Another misty morning was followed by a stunning day of bright sunshine and a cooling breeze. So far, the weather gods have favoured us, lets hope it continues for the remaining three days.

This morning saw the bulk of the team deployed within area 4, but Katie took a skeleton crew consisting of James and Unity back up to the longhouse to finish the plan and section drawings on trench 2. With the recording complete they backfilled the last of the trenches in area 1 for this year and followed the rest of the group over to area 4 above the farm at  Mazon Wath for a well-earned lunch in the sun.

Meanwhile area 4 had been a flurry of activity with the team operating like a well-oiled machine to erect the tent/site hut in record time. While the trench 14 team finished de-turfing and began cleaning up the clearance cairn, those new to the area were given an introduction to the identification of subtle earthwork features in the landscape and an overview of the development of the local field systems.

Excavating the clearance cairn

A new trench was then set out over one of the coaxial banks in what looked to be a promising position and while de-turfing began here, a third trench was started to the north over what appeared to be another clearance cairn, later incorporated into a coaxial bank.

Gill getting stuck in to the deturfing of Trench 16

After lunch we had an impromptu excursion to the chambered burial cairn that overlooks Mazon Wath on the edge of Little Asby Scar. Although the cairns burial chamber has clearly been disturbed it remains an impressive monument none the less and must have been a prominent feature of the bronze age landscape.

The Mazon Wath Burial cairn, with Howgills in the background

In the afternoon, with de-turfing now completed on both of the new trenches and cleaning of the clearance cairn nearing an end we were treated to a low flyover and display of acrobatics by four of the Royal Air Force’s fighter jets no less. All prearranged of course.

Tomorrow all being well we hope to move a team into area 4a and begin investigation of the round-house and its associated enclosure bank but with just three days left for this season it will be all hands to the pumps to get everything finished in time.