Enthused by the success of the Big Dig in 2012, the Carwynnen team returned in October 2013 to find out more about the site in preparation for the monument’s full restoration, in 2014. The principal aim was to re-expose the rear end of the floor of the monument to find out more about the make up of the stone “pavement”, as well as fully reveal and excavate the socket hole for Stone 4. The Council of British Archaeology have funded a 'visualisation', which has proved invaluable when placing the orthostats ready for the capstone.
We have held a stone moving workshop, which was delivered by Julian Richards. Over forty people came together and learnt about how the ancients could have moved such huge stones.
Photograph by Nick Donaldson
On the final day of the 10 day dig, Stone 4 was removed from its temporary lying place and re-erected in its original location. The team also explored other areas of the field to learn more about the immediate landscape setting of Carwynnen Quoit.
The Restoration Team Autumn 2013
The key discovery in the main trench (8m by 4m) was that the stone floor of the quoit, certainly at the rear of the monument, was contained by a stone kerb. Lying upon and up against the kerb were some fragments of prehistoric pottery. Also lying in the space between the two uprights Stones 3 and 4 were two discrete burnt layers (soil mixed with charcoal and bone) which had been placed right on the outside edge of the pavement. These had not been buried in a container or dug features but secreted as distinct deposits.
Our final discovery in the main trench provided the real surprise of this season– a pit had been dug into the stony surface at the rear of the chamber floor! Perhaps there was some truth after all about a pit being dug into the monument in the 19th century by a local man who dreamt of looking for treasure at the Quoit and that he pursued his dream and dug a hole which caused the monument to collapse in the first place.
James Gossip excavating the socket for stone 4
Brett carefully trowelling
The team gets stuck in