The Adam Park Project

Virtual Museum

Test Pit One at No11 Adam Park

Item Information:

Catalogue Number: Various See Report 12 Source: TAPP Archaeology Surveys Location: No11 Adam Park Report No: Report No.12 Artifact Type: Terrain Feature Production Date: 2012-08-28 00:00:00 Dimensions of Item: Various Copyright with The Adam Park Project

Other Description:

Excavation of two gas mask lenses in T9 would be in itself a remarkable find especially as the items were in pristine condition. However excitement mounted as more metal was detected at a lower level. The next objects unearthed were the back plate for the respirator’s exhalation valve and a number of buckles, webbing clips and studs. Even more contacts were noted beneath the 20cm depth the metal detectors were usually detecting items at. The pinpointer was sounding off wildly across the base of the small excavation. There were clearly bigger metal objects buried below the topsoil. The decision was then made to stop digging. The size of the excavation was at the limit agreed with the tenants. Checks were made to ensure that the mystery items were not new utility lines. The extremities of the objects were defined and it was clear this was not a pipe or cabling. The hole was covered over for the night and the dilemma discussed with the tenant. They agreed to the digging of a limited test pit no more than 50cm by 50cm and as deep as required to identify the objects and to determine the extent of the deposit of material. Fortunately for the project team, Miss Jingyi Zhang, a student of archaeology at Durham University was on hand to volunteer to carry out the dig. The excavation of the test pit started on Monday 3rd September and took a further two days to complete.

Historic Context:

The area at the base of the bank between a living tree and an old tree stump was named Feature 1. It appeared the centre of a collection of artefacts which resembled the archaeology found at No8 and No.17 Adam Park where military equipment had been apparently dumped into man-made holes or into natural depressions and hidden by foliage. The existing tree appeared too young to have been present in 1942 but the rotting tree stump nearby certainly bore all the hallmarks of being in situ at the time of the fighting with contemporary artefacts scattered under, above and within its root system. The excavation of the test pit proved that there are large pertinent finds still waiting to be recovered beneath the surface. The positioning of the artefacts suggests that the items were deposited into a well defined ‘trench’ however the exact dimensions of the feature could not be determined from the one test trench. The line of the trench cut does suggest it was dug facing due north towards known Japanese positions. The fact that the trench is placed at the foot of a bank means that the occupants would not be silhouetted against the sky when viewed from afar.

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