This particular field has what we suspect to be a small Roman villa, also known as a farmstead.
The evidence we've acquired over the last couple of visits has shown that the villa had quite wealthy owners in that they had a tesserae floor with partial roof tiling and had use of Samian Ware dishes.
Fibulae have also been recovered along with Roman coinage including denarii as well as a few hammered coins including one of King Harold.
The weather conditions were sort of perfect, with a clear sky, and a lovely cooling breeze coming from the East. There was a downside however, the breeze would prove to play havoc with the video sound levels! This will make it tricky when it comes to editing as I would prefer to keep the original sound. Once the images for Flickr are sorted, I'll start on the video.
The field was perfectly flat with none of the pea crop showing which allowed 100% visibility of the surface making it easy to spot any surface pottery etc.
However, the soil was extremely dry and powdery, almost like fine sand. This didn't bode too well for depth, but there again, most of our small finds come from within 5 inches of the field surface anyway!
The first run was down the headland and the first signal was a Roman fibula dating from the C1st or early C2nd with a few pieces of greenwaste appearing. This permission has lots of greenwaste covering most fields which make some of them un-detectable.
We then followed the main drill direction and it wasn't long before the Roman grots began to appear.
The area that we suspected may be a Roman building had a scatter of chalk which stood out against the slightly darker soil colour. This may have been part of the original flooring along with a small area of tesserae to add a luxurious feel to the building? Some of the tesserae were of different colours. Over thirty pieces of tesserae were recovered and logged to ten decimal places on the GB OS GPS system, as were all recordable finds.
We recovered 2 denarii (one quite rare), 21 Roman bronze coins, 2 fibulae (one with traces of enamel), 1 Roman key-ring (scarce), the obligatory hammered coin (Tudor), a Medieval buckle with tongue, several fragments of Roman pottery (1.89kg), oyster shell as well as 5 fragments of Medieval pottery dating to C13th.
All of these can seen in High Definition on our Flickr site.
We called in to see the landowners as we haven't seen them for a while and the lady of the house put the kettle on the agar and made us both a cup of tea. We had a great catch up and checked out the report on the archaeological survey that we had organised there last year. The report was superb and they even included a preview to the another dig later this year.
Lovely to see that the team at Priscan Archaeology have received official recognition from the highest echelons of the archaeological world in recognition of the hard work we've put in to get this dig up and running. This is truley a reflection on all responsible detectorists and an example of what can be done if you put your mind to it.
During the catch up we confirmed that we will restructure their WiFi setup and bring the whole farm communication system up-to-date.
This will benefit the information centre they have and enable visitors to use all the new facilities on offer.
Of course, we will submit all today's findings from this villa site to the landowners, and the archaeological team, in order to assess the full excavation potential for 2019.
High Definition images of today's finds can be seen here.