Sunday, September 03, 2006

Mellor Dig Open Days

2006 arrowheadsThe 200 who braved the weather on Saturday had a very wet time, but weather conditions were good on Sunday, for the morning at least.

Most of you will have heard about the two medieval arrowheads found this year on the North of this site, not to be confused with the two arrowheads found in 2004 on the south side of the site.

archeologist measuring the depth of the ditchA new section of the trench which started the whole investigation in 1995 was investigated. It is now clear that this was not defensive and has been interpreted as a boundary ditch, perhaps for enclosing livestock.
archeologists recording the trench

Entrance causewayAs for the much more substantial ditch, which clearly is defensive, the entrance has finally been found. The surface between these two pieces of turf is the causeway which crossed the ditch. That section has never been excavated, not even in Iron Age times. (By coincidence, thre are trees at either end of the causeway, which are being protected, hence the untouched sections of turf.)

The ditches were in fact infilled during the Iron Age, several hundred years before the coming of the Romans. But just inside the infilled ditch, a substantial medieval hall has been found, as reported in a previous posting. This has been dated to the 11C-13C. It may have been the first Mellor Hall, before the surviving all was built a bit further away from the prevailing winds. This is an exciting find as it brings evidence of occupation up to the beginnings of recorded history.

The exhibition at the local centre was bigger than ever. I presume the best artefacts will be joining those already on show at the Stockport Story.

2006 finds
There will be a report on the Mellor Dig on You and Yours, Radio 4 on Wednesday 6 September 12 noon. (Follow the link to 'listen again' for up to 2 weeks after the broadcast.)

This year's dig was done using residual funds. A Heritage Lottery Fund grant is being applied for, which will include investigation of the entire Mellor area, not just the current site.

For more details see Mellor Archaeological Trust.