We arrived in glorious sunshine with temperatures already climbing to the expected high of 22C, which isn't bad for the latter end of September!
This is a permission that we acquired recently and we have already paid it a first visit a few weeks ago resulting in some lovely Roman finds.
That was field JC001, we were now about to explore JC002 which looks promising from the research we'd carried out 6 years ago.
I sent the farmer a text and asked was it okay to survey JC002 and he said "yes, it's worked, so don't drive on it". We got there to find it in stubble!!!
I texted him to say I must have described the wrong field and he said "no worries, carry on".
As we were 'tackling up' the farmer, and his dog, came over to us and we introduced ourselves, as we'd never met before.
I apologised over the field confusion to which he replied "Help yourselves to any of the fields, some are drilled, some worked and the others are in stubble."
We handed over the horse brass (now highly polished) that we found on the last visit and he was well pleased with it. He said that his father will love it as they have quite a large stable with several horses.
We got to the target area of the field and started to walk it. Within a couple of minutes a fragment of a hammered coin (Edward I/II) emerged, quickly followed by a C14th Medieval buckle plate.
This was a great start considering it looked to be a Romano-British site!
Not to worry, the first of the 9 Roman coins was recovered shortly after the buckle plate. More Roman coins were found including an early denarius of Titus dating to AD80 which celebrated the completion or the Colosseum at Rome in AD80 as well as the opening of the Games in the same year.
This coin is considered quite scarce.
The stubble became stiffer as the sun dried it out, so we thought a move might be on the cards, seeing that we had a Carte Blanche canvas to explore the other fields.
Field JC003 was impeccably rolled and drilled, but didn't have any identifiable features, so we were going in blind.
We decided to use our 'Zebra' search method to quickly assess what may lie in this field. Only one find was recovered and that was a lovely example of a Roman penannular brooch complete with its pin.
No other artefacts or pottery were evident meaning that this wasn't a settlement site and that any other finds would be casual losses.
We had a drive around to look at the other fields on the farm and thought doing a 'Zebra' search on some of these might be beneficial.
We split to search two of these fields, one in the stubble and the other two on a perfectly rolled and drilled field.
Nothing was found, with virtually no small iron targets or lead being found
showing that there was very little in lost in these areas. Ironically, in the centre of the stubble field was a Roman crossroads and even this didn't produce any human evidence.
As time was now running short, we had a look at JC004 which was 'worked' and quite flat. Being another large field, we did a 'Zebra' search on this one too.
A cut-half and a Roman grot were the only finds of note but there was an area that had lots of very large chunks of chalk and small ferrous items in a concentrated area of about 100 square metres. Again, no pottery was evident showing that there was a minimum amount of human interaction there.
On reflection, the first field, and our main target area, was the field to be in for finds. We look forward to revisiting this one as soon as it's re-drilled as we'll have full visibility of the field surface.... and no stubble to negotiate.
As usual, we used the 9" HF coils programmed in the standard GMP mode, but the targets were coming up from a slightly deeper level due to the sandy and low mineralised soil.
HD images of the days finds can be seen here.