Newhouse Dig Diary – Days Two and Three

Dr Ryan Prescott gives an update on what happened on days two and three.

Day Two

Day two of our investigations at Newhouse has seen us focus our efforts on Trench 2.

We spent the morning cleaning the trench and it became apparent that we were looking at two possible post holes nearer the eastern ditch of the earthwork. These were cleaned and carefully dug into before recording was then completed.

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On our first day we had unearthed a masonry slab and today we excavated around it to see if there were any other adjoining slabs. Unfortunately, it proved to have been an isolated example. It has been worked with a distinct curve, suggesting it may have been part of a doorway, likely part of the later abbey structures. Though it does not seem to have been in its original context. Nonetheless, it is a nice example which will help us date the activity on the site and build up a chronology. This is especially important as nothing from the abbey remains on the surface of the entirety of the field where we are based. This was one of the key aims of the project.

Figure 1: Two possible post holes in Trench 2
Figure 2: A masonry slab

Day Three

We are grateful to be finally benefiting from some much-needed sun. In good spirits, we returned on our third day to Trench 1 and were keen to see what the day would bring.

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Trench 1 was cleaned up and like in Trench 2, leaving it exposed over the past couple of days had really helped bring some features to light. After clearing a modern rubbish dump of bricks in the southern corner of the trench within the topsoil, we began working on a couple of areas of interest. Day one had revealed some pottery shards, and it became clear that there was more beneath the surface. After trowelling where the shards had been uncovered on Monday, we found the remains of a larger pot. Excitingly, the pot seems to be largely intact but appears to be older than the known history of the site. We also explored a potential feature in the centre of the trench where the soil appeared darker. After much digging, we discovered what appears to have been a small piece of leather, an incredible find. We recorded these two finds and importantly, safely transported them back to the site entrance before they are taken to Humberfield Archaeology for further analysis when the fieldwork has been completed.

Stay tuned to see us progress our work in Trench 1 on day 4 of our excavations at Newhouse.

Figure 3: The remains of a pot
Figure 4: A small piece of leather recovered from Trench 1

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