Roman Nail Scraper
In 2000 as part of an educational winter programme members of the
Field Unit visited the site of the Roman temple at Lancing Ring. The
temple is of classic celia style construction. The field to the west
of the temple location had recently had the barley crop removed.
Among the remaining stubble in the field was observed significant
quantities of both Roman pottery and oyster shell; one member of the
team, picked up a bronze artefact from close to the edge of the field .
The find has now been identified as a Roman nail scraper and is
similar to a number found during the excavations at Fishbourne. The
volume of pottery, shell and the small find, in this field would
justify some archaeological investigation, whether field walking,
geophysics or preferably both. The nail scraper will be passed to
Worthing Museum. A note has been submitted to the Sussex
Archaeological Collections (Ref Excavations at Fishbourne 'The Finds'
Vol II page 109 Illustrations K.Butler.)
The season of summer walks, focused on the high places among the
South Downs, has now been completed. Designed as a series of four
walks, this was extended to a total of six at the request of those
who came along. Places visited included Woistenbury, Edburton, Park
Brow, Thundersbarrow, Milibank Wood, Itford Hill and Fine Beacon. A
social event walk was a visit to the Devils Jumps at Hooksway, north
of Chichester, on a mid-summer evening.
This walk was in conjunction with the Worthing Archaeological
Society, and a crowd of about 60 enjoyed the evening. The walks were
organised to commemorate the memory of Con Ainsworth who spent so
many evenings leading groups to the archaeological sites over the
Downs. The Downs are particularly beautiful on a warm summer evening
and it is a pity that only a few managed to enjoy the perambulations.
A comment made by E.C.Curwen, in one of his publications, is that the
only time to see the prehistory at Wolstenbury is in the winter and
by moonlight. A new season is being planned.
Members of the Field Unit have been assisting MSFAT, under the
directorship of Chris Butler, with their excavations at Barcombe; the
substantial Roman villa lies close to the church at Barcombe. The
week-end excavations concentrated on the area of the previous year's
work. The flint walls, pits, post holes and stake holes were enhanced
and new features were revealed. The villa was preceded by two round
houses. A Bronze Age ditch is also part of the ancient panorama. The
excavation of a newly opened section to the south of the existing dig
has revealed an in-situ tessellated floor. A number of members of the
Field Unit enrolled in the Archaeological Training Courses conducted
With the help of generous donations from members, Worthing
Archaeological Society and the Mid Sussex Field Archaeological Team,
we have recently purchased additional software for use with the RM15
resistivity meter. The addition of this package will allow a rapid
downloading of the data collected during the surveys and give an
almost immediate image of what the survey has revealed. The software
has been placed on a number of computers, but the special 'dongle'
device only allows one computer at a time access to the software.
Team members David Staveley and Bill Santer are the leading forces of
the geophysical unit and will be organising other projects where
training in the use of the equipment will be a major consideration.