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This section contains the latest news from the Field Unit, as and when it occurs. New sections are added as and when to show the progress the Field Unit are making during the year.

* Original Information 30th March 2018

* Added 11th June 2018

* Added 24th August 2018

 

BHAS Post Excavation 2017/2018

There have been a number of finds processing days over the winter period. Finds from the excavations at Ovingdean were washed at the premises of the professional unit Archaeology South East (ASE) who once again kindly opened their doors to us. We had several visit to their site for finds washing and this also included finds from some field walking conducted at Perching. There were 3 other finds processing days held at the Patcham Community Centre where finds were sorted into their various catagories, and later marked after washing. All of these events were well supported by the membership.

 

Winter Walks

There have been a number of winter walks to places of archaeological interest. The first was a popular walk around Stanmer where we visited a number of locations. BHAS have excavated in Stanmer on a number of occasions, and we visited Pudding Bag Wood and Stanmer Great Wood where a couple of cross ridge dykes were investigated, and to our Romano-British site at Rocky Clump and the medieval enclosure at Patchway Field. There was also a visit to the Stanmer Water catchment, and a number of other locations. A second walk visited the Devil's Dyke where excavations took place in 1936. The walk then continued across the Downs to the medieval settlement at Upper Perching. We almost visited the Motte and Bailey fort at Truleigh Hill, unfortunately the weather closed in and prevented this. A full programme of summer walks is being organised and these will be published in a future website update.

 

BHAS Field Work

During the earlier months of 2018 the BHAS Field Unit conducted some field walking at Perching, on a field just to the west of Fulking. It was a large field and the northern section had the potential for finding Palaeolithic material. The walking did produce some flint work, and medieval pottery, and the finds are currently being processed prior to the creation of dot density diagrams. The diagrams may reveal concentrations of finds indicating potential sites for future investigation. One observation was the vast amount of plastic now scattered across these fields.

 

Watching Brief at Beacon Hill

During February and when the snow was arriving BHAS conducted a watching brief on a water pipeline trench being excavated along the east side of Beacon Hill. The trench was not very wide, but a number of geophysical surveys conducted over the past decade have revealed a number of interesting anomalies. Sadly the watching brief produced no sign of any features and the only finds were of modern brick and tile.

 
Excavations at Rocky Clump

 
The Brighton and Hove Archaeological Society will be returning to Rocky Clump on Saturday 14th April. This season we will be investigating the east end of a large ditched enclosure. This is the entrance to this late Iron Age or early Romano-British enclosure, other areas inside of the enclosure will also be examined. A flint wall was found during the last season and it would be interesting to see if we can find a building. There will be training available, but anyone is welcome whatever their experience. The excavations will be led by the new Archaeological Secretary Pete Tolhurst.

 


Excavations at Rocky Clump 2018

Digging at Rocky Clump, Stanmer, near Brighton commenced on April 14th 2018. An area has been stripped by machine, but additional areas may also be opened up if required. This season we will be examining the interior of a late Iron Age enclosure with a complicated entrance at the east end, defined by off-set ditches.


The ditches found in previous seasons have been quite substantial, about 2-3 metres wide and nearly 2 metres in depth. The ditches have produced numerous finds of pottery, many sherds with the delightful raised eye-brow decoration, bone and other special finds including a nice silver finger ring. The object of this season's activities is to seek out and determine evidence for any activity within the enclosure. The past excavations have produced small and ephemeral flint 'wall' footings. We do know that there is no large Roman villa, but it is perhaps more interesting as it is a site of probably members of the local indigenous population. The excavation may reveal how lower status people survived and lived in this part of Sussex.


At present the excavations has revealed some of the ditches, known from geophysics and past excavation, and additional post holes focused around, and outside of, the enclosure entrance. We do know of an enclosure near Chichester that had a round house at the entrance to an enclosure and revealed evidence for metal working. It is possible that something similar may be found at Stanmer.

You will need to be a member to participate, which is £15 full or £7.50p student, and are advised to have a current tetanus. You can join via the website www.brightonarch.org.uk or come along to an event and fill in an application form.

You will need to bring sun factor and wet gear, as the site is exposed and you can get wet, and please bring refreshments. We supply tools and training. You can try your hand at anything within our archaeological resources.
 
We generally work on Saturdays and Wednesdays. We meet at 10-00am at the Upper Lodge car park, and we finish on site at 4-30pm.
 
We can send you location details if you have your own transport, or will endeavour to pick you up at various locations if you are coming by bus or train.

The BHAS field unit is open to anyone with an interest in archaeology, no previous experience is required, all training will be given. For further details apply to the membership section or contact either Pete Tolhurst at archsec@brightonarch.org.uk or John Funnell at co-ordinator@brightonarch.org.uk for more details

 

Excavations at Rocky Clump July 2018

The excavations are progressing well with a large central area already opened up. The new area has revealed a large section of a ditch which runs from east to west and forms the north side of a large rectangular enclosure. The 2018 season was planned to investigate the east end of the enclosure where an entrance appears to be suggested by geophysical results. The main area was stripped by machine and has revealed not one but two ditches running north to south. The ditches are only spaced about 1 metre apart so it is unlikely that they were being used at the same time.

The excavations have also revealed a central east/west ditch which appears to have a break at the east end, this could be a possible entrance into the enclosure. A lower east west ditch, has been found at the east end of the enclosure, but here it is only about 1.2 metres in width compared to over 2 metres at the other end.

The interior of the enclosure contains a number of pits. Inside on of these pits there is a complex arrangement of stakes holes, and a flint and chalk packed post hole. One of the ditches also curves around into another feature. There are other post holes, and a collection of stake holes in a rectangular configuration, which could be for enclosing animals. One of the elongated pits contained a large metal object, but it will need to be x-rayed to find out its identification.

At the south side of the enclosure is a small flint 'wall' or a linear arrangement of flints. This is a continuation of a line of flints found in earlier seasons. Another line of flints runs parallel to this one, so it could be that we have the simple footing for a timber framed building. There is still a quantity of top soil to be removed from the enclosure interior, so other features may come to light as the dig progresses.

There has been an interesting collection of finds this season including as number of Roman coins. There has been plenty of animal bone and oyster shells from out of the ditches, and the pottery contains a good collection of late Iron Age sherds including some with the 'raised eyebrow' decoration, and some with a thumbed band applied.

The 20918 season of digging will continue until either late September or early October. The excavation is open to anyone, even those without experience.

You will need to be a member to participate, which is £15 full or £7.50p student, and are advised to have a current tetanus. You can join via the website www.brightonarch.org.uk or come along to an event and fill in an application form.

 

 

 

BHAS have a full winter programme with lectures, finds processing, day schools and walks or visits to places of interest.

The BHAS field unit is open to anyone with an interest in archaeology, no previous experience is required, all training will be given. For further details apply to the membership section or contact either Pete Tolhurst at archsec@brightonarch.org.uk or John Funnell at co-ordinator@brightonarch.org.uk for more details

 

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