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Archaeological Investigations
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Stowe Archaeological Investigations

2019       2020

Tuesday January 12th.
After the Christmas break and in the depths of another severe Covid lock-down we returned to work on the examination of possible path lines south of the Doric Arch. The day was mostly about scraping clean, tidying edges and sweeping away leaves as well as checking out what else had been going on


Trench 1502 south of the Doric Arch, nice bit of gravel  path here.    

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Trench 1503, the one with all that grey clay, cutting edges back                                                                       Why photograph a modern path? I have my reasons                                         More tidying up by the Temple of Modern Virtue now the sycamores have been felled.

Thursday February 4th.
Having recorded the long thin trenches 1500, 1501 and 1502 it was time to concentrate on 1503 In one corner, from under the grey clay, and that's significant, a mass of rubble and mortar started to emerge. Could it be... could it be.... another statue base?

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Quite an area open now for troweling over.                                                                              First glimpse of a structure, surely the foundations for another statue plinth

... and from one corner, in a layer with animal bone and charcoal, our first finds

Friday February 5th.
Oh dear, rain overnight severely limited what we could do, scraping away at some of the high ground was about it....

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Alan cleans off a small island of topsoil whilst  I gave some attention to long extension and further evidence of gravel paths.

Thursday February 25th.
There was more rain, then there was snow and then wind and eventually, towards the end of the month we were able to get back on site and finish off our limited exploration of the site with a few additional test trenches.

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Early start with lots of clearing up to do and a new cut to look at grey clay. The full extent of the statue base strung up and here is cleaning underway, just get rid of those leaves.

Friday February 26th.
The last day for recording: photography and lots of drawing before handing it over to be back-filled.

...and what a glorious day it was plus it was my birthday too!

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The statue base ready to be drawn and the section through the gravel pit back-filled with clay also ready for drawing....

... and here's the finished product.

The Return to the Temple of Modern Virtue.
Monday March 16th. to Thursday 19th.
After so long waiting on tree fellers and bat wranglers we were able to return to the site for a big clear up, a little extra excavation and a mass of recording... and now we wonder, 'What comes next?'

The big clean up commences with many many thanks to Olwen, John and Alan

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... and here are the results, all looking splendid and indeed ready for their big close ups.

In a small test pit designed to examine the foundations of the ashlar wall this very curious feature formed in mortar, as I said, still more questions than answers.

Monday March 22nd.
It's a truism  that every day in the field for an archaeologist generates two more days work back in the office. Work is underway to process the finds from trench 1503, the one south of the Doric Arch so the report can be completed, conclusions drawn and recommendations put forward.

The pottery assemblage from 1503, all looking remarkably consistently late seventeenth/early eighteenth century.