W/c 21st March saw a team of about a dozen people carry out a comprehensive fieldwalking survey in Hall Field. We were treated to pretty reasonable weather (at least there was no hail this year!) all week. The only complication encountered was that the field had not been ploughed since last year and was still covered with crop stubble up to 10 cm high in places), making spotting finds extremely difficult in places.
Why was Hall Field chosen? Although part of the field had been fieldwalked in previous years, this had been along the eastern side of the field. With interest in reviving work on the Roman Project, it was considered that the western side of the field (adjoining Chalk Pit Field) would need to be completed in advance of any excavation taking place.
Map showing extent of fieldwalking completed during w/c 21st March 2016
The last time excavation had been carried out in the immediate vicinity was in 2006, where work on the Late Iron Age/Roman farmstead in the SE corner of Chalk Pit Field (just the other side of the hedge from where we started our grid) had given a tantalising insight as to what the site may hold.
The fieldwalking carried out over four days, working in an east-west direction, delivered an abundant amount of CBM and pottery, along with some slag. Animal bones, shell and flint were notable by their absence.
The pottery included Middle and Late Iron Age, although the majority appeared to be Roman. A number of sherds of Glazed Grimstonware were also found. A full analysis of the pottery found will be carried out over the coming months. Much of the CBM and pottery was being collected along the western field boundary, although Hall Field appears to have another post-glacial gulley feature that runs across the field in a NE-SW alignment and many finds had been ploughed across the field into this.
In addition to the fieldwalking, some metal detecting was also carried out. The most successful detectorist of the week by far was Melinda Barham. She discovered numerous metal finds (many of which give affirmation to this area’s importance) and while a full analysis on these finds is still being carried out, these are the summary details to date:
HF16 001 - Roman coin (identification pending) – obverse
HF16 001 – Roman coin (identification pending) – reverse
HF16 HF16 002 – Romano-British dolphin brooch (1st century AD)
HF16 003 – Medieval English “sterling bust” type jetton dating from c. 1280-1340 – obverse
HF16 003 – Medieval English “sterling bust” type jetton dating from c. 1280-1340 – reverse
HF16 004 – Roman radiate coin – obverse
HF16 004 – Roman radiate coin – reverse
HF16 005 – Roman Sestertius of Lucilla (daughter of Emperor Marcus Aurelius) AD 164-169 – obverse
HF16 005 - Roman Sestertius of Lucilla (daughter of Emperor Marcus Aurelius) AD 164-169 – reverse
HF16 006 -Late Iron Age silver unit, mid 1st century BC – obverse
HF16 006 - Late Iron Age silver unit, mid 1st century BC – reverse
HF16 007 - Hepplewhite drawer pull, late 18th century
In addition, three 0.5 cal. WWII cartridge cases were also found. All three date from 1942 and were probably discarded from an aircraft as it headed back to a local airfield.