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Excavation Diary: Barnham Arrivals

It’s the first day of the excavation, a day for getting to know each other and the site, sorting out the equipment, tool shed and office and beginning to prepare the excavation areas for the work ahead. This year’s team sees a nice mix of old and new faces; students studying at Leiden University, UCL, and Durham, Brighton, Liverpool and Reading universities will be working alongside staff and volunteers from the British Museum, Natural History Museum and Queen Mary University of London.

Some of the Barnham 2019 on the first day of the excavation

Following a site induction, most of the team got to work recovering Area III from the ravages of winter, bailing out water, removing leaf litter and lifting the plastic sheeting that has protected the area since last year’s excavation. This job has been done well, so tomorrow we should be able to begin excavating. Meanwhile, our digger driver Dave and his brother Colin are extending Area I by removing the backfill to reveal in-situ sediments to the east of the old excavation area. This may take a couple of days, but once it is complete a team will begin to excavate the ancient soil horizon along the southern margin of the site that we hope will preserve evidence of human activity.