Out and About with…Ben Swain!

One of our Venturers, Ben Swain, recently paid a visit to Flag Fen. Here he updates us on how things are looking, and how it felt to go back…

Outside the Bronze Age roundhouse, otherwise known as the Wattle & Daub – our very own onsite pop-up pub!

Back to Flag Fen!

After my amazing three weeks digging at Flag Fen this summer, I knew that there was no way I would be able to stay away from the place! So when my Dad and I recently went on a weekend away that took us past Peterborough, we had to go and take a look.

With my peat-stained “I dig Flag Fen” t-shirt worn with pride, the first thing that struck me as we

Trench One, on what would have been dry land in the Bronze Age.The Flag Fen Visitor Centre is just visible in the background.

began walking around the site was just how familiar it seemed. I’d been off site for three months, but I felt that I knew the place better than my way around Uni – and I’ve been there two years!

You can’t really miss Trench 1, which was my first stop. There were some great memories that came out of trench 1, such as my first-ever find of a piece of flint debitage – a term which incidentally became the name of a rather successful pub quiz team in the Wattle and Daub!

Test Pit 3 was where I found the first piece of causeway timber of the dig – a very special moment for me, that I will always remember. Going back to that spot was such a great feeling! It was then on to my beloved Test Pit 2, where I spent the rest of the dig and loved it. This was where I Mike Bamforth taught me so much about archaeology, and will always be the spot where the connection I feel for archaeology now really began for me. It was strange how much of the detail I could remember – individual pieces of wood and their exact positions all came flooding back.

At this point, the (former!) Wattle and Daub came into view, and I was so lucky that on that day the roundhouses were being smoked out, and the fires

Test Pit 2 now, quite a change! I am pointing out where the two posts we extracted had been.

were going. Taking my regular seat in the Bronze Age roundhouse brought back memories of the amazing nights we had there.

We went on to pay a short visit to Trench 2, where I had spent a day digging, and then it was on to Test Pit 1 – now officially twinned with a small suburb of Beijing! We finished with a visit to the museum, and just like at the end of the dig, I was so sad to go.

Going back to Flag Fen was a great experience of bringing back memories of a great summer and a great site.  I’ll be returning to any future DV digs they’ve got planned – great summer, great place – I’ll be back!”

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply