All good things must come to an end and the Hickleton Hall excavations are no exception! Today was the last day on site and we were joined by Chris, Alex, Phil, Kate, Sue, Martin, Russell, Sue, Anne, Michael, Helen, Lesley and Chris. A smaller team, but I think everyone else knew we'd be backfilling today, so avoided us like the plague!
There was still a little bit of levelling to do on Base Three, so Kate gave the team instructions on how to set up and use a dumpy level:
Then points across the top of the structures were measured using the staff:
These levels were all recorded and noted down. This will give us a height above sea level for the bases. Also we can use this to do a very basic topographical survey and to see how flat or sloped features and the ground may be.
Meanwhile Phil still had to finish of drawing Base One, he had Chris help him and they got through it pretty quickly.
Then the nasty job of backfilling had to start. There is not one archaeologist who enjoys this job. Anyone that tells you differently is lying. As the field is used by cattle we had to reinstate the bases to their original or close to original state.
Sometimes it is important to replace turfs as they were found, but in this case a good covering of earth was all that was needed as the grass and weeds will regrow soon anyway!
Base One had been used as a track for the tractor, so left this one quite uncovered which is how we'd found it. The tree trunks were dragged on to the bases to stop the cattle walking about on the concrete. Thankfully this wasn't such a big job and everything was finished and reinstated by 12.30, probably helped by the fact it was beautifully sunny and we didn't get one drop of rain all day!
And here is the team shot from the last day, the plucky few, the brave band of brothers (and sisters) who braved the backfilling! L-R Kate, Russell, Chris, Phil, Martin, Sue, Chris, Anne, Helen, Lesley, Sue, Alex and Michael.
We have finished at Hickleton Hall for now, but hopefully we can get funding to work here again next year, as there are questions still to be answered!
Having said that, Elmet Archaeological Services Ltd have many other projects in the future. If you are interested in joining us for any of them you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter which will keep you informed of our activities and forthcoming events!