Royal Commission investigators were back on Skomer Island last week, excavating a small trench in Well Meadow next to Island Farm in the centre of the Island. This latest investigation forms part of the Skomer Island Project, which commenced in 2011 with colleagues from the University of Sheffield and Cardiff University, and is our 4th excavation on the island.
Blessed with some wonderful weather, our excavation target was an anomaly that had been revealed in 2016 during our geophysical survey to locate buried archaeology beneath the improved historic fields in the centre of the island. We opened a 6m by 2m trench over the anomaly and the result? Well you donâ€™t always strike gold! The anomaly proved to be natural in origin, a band of hard-packed gravelly subsoil whose higher magnetic signature had been detected in the gradiometer survey. However, our digging was not in vain as we recovered finds, including sherds of glazed pottery that will be sent for analysis to provide a valuable insight on the historic period of farming on the island.
The location of the trench next to a main path on the island meant that the public were able to visit us, and we also managed to fit in an archaeological walk for volunteers and visitors.
With thanks to the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, the Islands Advisory Committee and Skomer Wardens for permission to work on this wonderful Island.
October 2, 2018