Today began drier and we returned to Trench 4, investigating the mound.
Above: Moyra and Pete excavating at the base of the mound. The Boulders lie beyond (Photo: Aaron Watson, 2018)
The turf was thin and the ground beneath compacted and dry. After some hard digging we initially wondered whether there might be a ditch, but this turned out to be a natural. Indeed, we finally concluded that there was no evidence that the mound was a monument. It is a compact ridge of glacial sand and gravels that was likely shaped by a combination of weathering and agricultural activities.
Above: The finished trench, showing the mound in profile and along its length (Photos: Richard Bradley, 2018)
Today's work might not have produced an especially exciting result, but at least we have resolved one of our research questions. Tomorrow, we begin digging around the decorated boulders.
The excavations at Copt Howe were directed by Richard Bradley and Aaron Watson. Many thanks to Yvonne Luke, Diane O'Leary, Nick Russell, Ronnie Scott, Kate Sharpe, Moyra Simon, Peter Style, Sally Taylor and Emma Watson for helping us with the fieldwork.
Thanks also to Historic England for granting permission for us to work at this scheduled monument, and to the National Trust for their support throughout. The excavations were funded by the Prehistoric Society and the Royal Archaeological Institute.
I will update my website with further information as the analysis and interpretation of the excavation continues.