Buttway Field, St Helen's Church Dig, Cliffe, Kent. Day 10

Really fantastic day 10 on the Buttway field, not just in terms of finds or the dig itself as that's only part of the reason we give up so much time/money and effort. Some days in archaeology it can be really tough it not all about finding treasure, there is a lot of hard work involved in the digging, planning and the recording. But days like today make it all worth while as the main reason we work so hard is because of the local community. Its to give something back to the place where many of us including myself grew up.  

The last few days as you may have read have been really hard going, but as predicted we are starting to see the archaeology. The reason today has been so good is for one reason alone, our young archaeologists!!! Not finds, not lumps and bumps or contexts/levels, however important this site may turn out to be I personally wont ever forget today. The kids have worked so hard and they are so interested, they listen and are really having fun, all the while they are learning so many new skills (just dont tell them mums and dads). That in my opinion makes this whole dig worthwhile even if we back filled the trench tomorrow. 

Speaking of the trench itself and I am pleased to say it is still producing finds we can date. The South section with the chalk/lime mortar and flint faced feature that appears to be the main building demolition raft is being cleaned up nicely, and I am beginning to see a more detailed picture but it is still to early to say about definable features like for example walls, although I am almost sure we have one in the very top left hand corner. 

The North section of the trench as you can see we are starting to uncover the deeper archaeology. We again have the very tops of flint starting to show and we have a more defined edge where the demo raft slope into the deeper section with hopefully more insitu archaeology. This is an important section as it should tie in both sides of the trench. I said yesterday if our testpit data prove to be true then we are right ontop if it and as predicted that is exactly how the trench is looking today. Meaning all the really hard work is done and we have reached the stage we have all work so hard to reach. Now we have 6 days left to find some answers so the clock is ticking...

I am going to close the blog today by saying when a professional archaeologist says "its interesting" they really mean its exciting lol. Today (sadly) im really excited about this dig and tomorrow I am going to tell you exactly why we have been digging and surveying around in the footprint of St Helens church.  The digs in Swingate Avenue, the Six Bells public house and the Buttway field itself are not random, the members know what we are doing and why.  The truth is after well over 15 years of critical study into the Hoo peninsular and its rich history and archaeology (to the craziest degree). There is something here and it is nationally important of that there is no doubt. I am not saying its related to this dig or the possible building underneath but I will say I wont stop until we find it..  I know without doubt its here somewhere under this historic village and it must be near the church...

Tomorrow we are onsite from 9am/5pm please come along bring the kids and sign up we only have 6 days left. If your struggling financially even though the members fee is very small come and talk to me in private and we can sort something out. Its a great opportunity to involve yourself with this really cool community project.