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Badlesmere Bottom 2019 - Day 12 FINAL DAY

Submitted by Fred Birkbeck on 3 September 2019

Firstly, thank you to everyone who has been following the posts on here, it is the first time the Society website has been used for these kind of updates. We would welcome any feedback, good or bad, just go to the contact section of the website and send a web form Remember to put the title 'Badlesmere Bottom' to be sure it will go to the correct person. Your feedback will be anonymised once it has been received and before it is sent on. Apologies for not having updated day 12 until now, there have been some technical issues.

Well, to all the diggers, supervisors, administrators and Estate staff, in particular Lady Sondes, our side project of a community dig for the affiliated groups and KAS members has been thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who participated. There has been some laughs along the way, only one casualty (a cut finger, those darn flints), only one morning of rain (apart from when the trenches were being stripped on day 1), young and old (I'm saying nothing) have come together to learn and discover.

We have to qualify the project as a success in the information it has confirmed from the geophysics, our feature which seems to run around the church (the 'castle' feature) contains patches of archaeology in the trial trenches in the form of metalled, hard standing surfaces which is what you would expect from a defended boundary of the purported date. We also had positive results from the trenches dug over the ring ditch which lies to the east of the boundary, can you spot both those anomalies in the results below? If you can, you're becoming a geophysics believer!

Rectilinear and ring ditch
The rectilinear and ring ditch anomalies in the geophysics results both resulted in positive 'ground truthing' through evaluation trenches

These images show the ditches that make up the western and eastern limits of the ring ditch. was 


Western slot in ring ditch
Slot into the western edge of the ring ditch, better photos in better light do exist, on another camera for now.


Easter slot in ring ditch
Slot into the eastern edge of the ring ditch which has a similar profile but is much wider


Both ditches contained bags of struck flint, prehistoric folk may well have been sitting on the edge of the ditch with their friends knapping flint safely into the boundary ditch to protect little feet and paws from the sharp debitage.

The archaeology on the cusp of the slope looking towards Woods Court was ephemeral, interesting and complex and, unfortunately, completely devoid of any finds! Great fun was had digging it and great ahem … discussions were had musing over the nature of the features there. As seen on the Day 11 blog, there was quite a lot going on.

Anyone who is visiting Lees Court for the main excavation project is welcome to speak to Richard at Stringman's Field or the organisers of the Woods Court dig about visiting the trenches. I will be at Stringman's on Saturday and will be glad to take people around

So what's next? The evaluations have only ground-truthed a small portion of the geophysics targets others of which include 2 potential long barrows, a WWII building, a saucepan/banjo enclosure, more circular enclosures and more general settlement evidence in important strategic places. Appraising the evaluation from this year may lead to further full scale excavations of the rectilinear boundary or ring ditch. Whatever happens, Richard and I will hopefully be back to give more training and facilitate more fun in the fields. Keep checking your emails and the KAS and Lees Court websites for announcements and opportunities.

We want to say a massive thank you to the Lees Court estate for facilitating this project, KAS for providing the resources, and all the participants from Maidstone, Faversham, Folkestone, Shorne, Thanet and a few members of the general public for turning up in the sweltering temperatures to join in. You are what makes it worthwhile.

The final report on this evaluation will be available in due course from KAS

Finally, here are pictures of Richard and I doing some actual work, just to prove we were there!

Richard working
Richard in full swing
Fred working
Fred reaches rock bottom