ARCHAEO-BLOG – DINEFWR PARK 2009
20 - 29 July
THE DAVID AND
CHRISTOPHER LEWIS FOUNDATION
A Roman presence in and around Dinefwr Park has long
been suspected and the presence of two Roman forts was confirmed by geophysical
survey in 2003. Parts of the forts were excavated by volunteers working
with the National Trust and the Dyfed Archaeological Trust in 2005. Further
discoveries of pieces of Roman pottery, tile and brick found in a secluded
part of the park near the 'North Heronry Dam', suggest there may be another
Roman building (perhaps a bathhouse, temple or villa), located somewhere
In 2008, following another geophysical survey, a variety
of interesting features near the North Heronry Dam including part of a
possible Roman road were investigated. At the very end of the excavation,
a layer of Roman roof tiles and charcoal were revealed. This exciting
discovery may suggest the presence of a significant building, but the
terrible weather conditions and the depth of soil above the remains prevented
us from digging further.
This summer, with support from the David and Christopher
Lewis Foundation and the National Trust, Dyfed Archaeological Trust are
again working with volunteers to continue investigating this intriguing
site. We hope to make some exciting discoveries.
The dig will run from 20th July to Saturday 25th July.
There will be an open day for visitors to see the excavations on guided
tours from Newton House on Saturday 25th July (as part of the Festival
of British Archaeology). There will also be an opportunity to visit the
excavations on the usual 'Deer Park tour' on Thursday 23rd July.
Geophysical survey showing the 2008 excavation trenches in red and
the 2009 trenches in green
Archaeo-blog for the 2008
Trench 16 located over the possible Roman track
The location of Trench 17
Day 1 - Friday 17 July
We started where we left off last year, in
the rain. Trenches 15 and 16 were machined. But the largest
and potentially the most interesting trench, 17, had a river
running through it. We will try tomorrow with this trench.
Duncan Schlee examining Trench 14
Ian Atkinson, Trevor Jose and John Lee cleaning Trench 15
Susan Stalinski, Kenza Barton, Matt Davies and Tony Coombe
working in Trench 16. Susan is on the stone of the possible
18th-19th century track
Anthony May in Trench 17
Day 2 - Monday 20 July
Trench 14. This was opened on Saturday when
the weather was a little less wet. It was full of water on
Monday. We will hire a water pump on Tuesday, but the forecast
is for heavy rain!
Trench 15. Several ditches and gullies were
revealed in this trench. Their date and function is as yet
Trench 16. This trench was cleaned and what
looked like ditches to the Roman track quickly revealed. A
stone spread at the south end is thought to be a track leading
to a 18th-19th century building revealed in 2008.
Trench 17. A small trench over a low earthwork
boundary did not reveal anything of interest.
A blurry photograph of Kenza Barton pumping out Trench
Day 3 - Tuesday 21 July
A very wet day. No excavation was possible,
but Trench 14 was pumped out. It immediately filled up again!
Sheltering from the heavy rain
Kenza Barton excavating Trench 14
...and with an amphora handle from the layer of Roman brick
Deione Thurston excavating the possible wall foundation
in Trench 15
The late wall in Trench 16 being excavated by Susan Stalinski
Matt Davies in one of the track-side ditches in Trench 16
Day 4 - Wednesday 22 July
Another wet day. As heavy showers merged
into rain we abandoned excavation in the late afternoon. Some
progress was made in Trench 14 with a layer of Roman brick
and tile exposed in the section.
In Trench 15 two of the ditches are parallel
and may have flanked a track. A line of flat stones may be
the remains of a stone foundation.
In Trench 16 excavation of the ditches of
the possible Roman track progressed. What was thought to be
a late track at the south end of the trench has turned out
to be a substantial wall.
Tony Coombe and Matt Davies excavating one of the roadside
ditches in Trench 16
One of the roadside ditches showing its sharp, V-shaped
Stephen Martin excavating a posthole by the side of one
the roadside ditches, Trench 16
Susan Stalinski recording the late wall in Trench 16
Kenza Barton and Ken Murphy recording the section in Trench
14. The Roman brick/tile comes from a layer just above the
Day 5 - Thursday 23 July
A day with only a little rain! Good progress
was made on all trenches, with sections cut across most features.
It was possible to pump out Trench 14, clean up the section
and record it. It is quite clear that the large amount of
Roman tile/brick and other building material is not in its
original position, but has been eroded into the ‘valley’
investigated by this trench.
John Lee holding a perforated stone disc from a ditch Trench
Trench 15 after the heavy rain
Hubert Wilson surveying Trench 14
Day 6 - Friday 24 July
Torrential rain put an end to excavating
in the early afternoon. The V-shaped ditches in Trench 15
are of Roman character, but no datable artefacts are associated
with them. Recording of features continued. Apart from the
late wall in Trench 14 most features are probably of Roman
date, but as with Trench 15 there is little dating evidence.
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