Friday, 16 September 2016

Reading The Hurlers - Dig Week - Day 5

Reading The Hurlers - Dig Week - Day 5

Our final Full day of digging today on Bodmin Moor, but the action will continue tomorrow as part of the Saturday Open Day!

The site was a frenzy of activity, with much encouragement from the Neolithic find yesterday. Many of the trenches were cleared and photographed, whilst more complicated trenches are still being examined and excavated, with the soils of each sieved and checked.

At the Hurlers Stone circles and in the wide moorland landscape, geologists continued the ongoing fieldwork to identify, measure and record the geological make-up of standing stones which form the circle, and the moorland stones. The surveying fieldwork has been ongoing every week from April, producing a detailed database. Head geologist Calum Beeson collates all the survey information in order to produce the knowledge base, which is now being used to match probable quarrying source sites to the individual standing stones.

From trench observations and field analysis, it appears that several of the major stones, and smaller surrounding rocks, have been brought to the site from further afield. The largest stone, in Trench A would have been a huge undertaking to move, and yet all indications from the geological make-up are, at present, that the stone has been moved to the area from elsewhere.

Members of the U3A formed a team under tuition from Reading The Hurlers media head Matt Clark, to scan and 3d-map the Hurlers standing stones and the stones recently exposed in the dig. This was done through a range of techniques, from detailed photogeometry / photogrametry (terms for software that captures real-world data as 3d models - surface texture, colour and shape) techniques to laser depth scanning. Many of the megaliths and trenches, large and small, were digitally captured, allowing further off-site study. The data is being collated and the 3D models will be posted soon!

Further groups from the U3A also joined us on the moors photographing many of the megalithic sites and the new dig site trenches.

Emma: “We are all really excited about the Open Day tomorrow and are busy preparing the trenches for the public viewing and the ongoing recording.
Some of the student volunteers are getting to grips with the archaeological recording techniques, under the tuition of James Gossip.”

The Dig trenches will be finalised, recorded, plotted, sketched, mapped and measured. Geologists study the exposed rock from each trench, ready for eventual back filling once all is analysed.

As the day drew to a close, and in preparation of the Open Day, we gathered as one large group to tour each trench and share our thoughts about the site, and discuss the evidence and ideas being deduced by the archaeologists and geologists.

There is still lots to learn about the Hurlers.