This challenging archaeological project at Carwynnen Quoit kicked off to a fine and successful start in early July. Over 5 days the team opened up a number of small test pits in the area immediately around the stones as well as along the terrace, upon which, the ruins of this ancient monument, sit.
These pits have provided keyholes which have allowed us to see what may survive below the grass around the site. All this information was fed into the plans for the larger dig in Autumn 2012. As this is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, the work required special consent from English Heritage, granted to The Sustainable Trust earlier this year.
The West Cornwall Dowsers
This group has been supportive of the project throughout. Two of its members have worked hard over the last few years to develop the bids that have made this work possible. The dowsers were invited to locate one of the 20 investigative pits, known as pit 50, outside the scheduled area with some interesting results. Chris Verran undertook the excavation here, joined at a later date by Keith Rundle. 'Our surprise discovery was the edge of a mining adit and lower down, we found a curious, perhaps fallen, dressed, granite stone. High up in the soil a fine transverse Neolithic arrowhead was found as well as a handful of sherds of prehistoric pottery. All the pottery fragments are of gabbroic clays. These tantalising discoveries suggest that within this field there are other traces of events which date to the Bronze and Iron Ages, many several thousand years after the construction of Carwynnen Quoit. Perhaps local groups of people living in the surrounding area were attracted to this place because the memory and significance of the quoit endured for many generations later. A curious find was a single musket ball: perhaps fired from a smooth ball long gun or even a rifle?” Jacky Nowakowski, team leader.
Excavations at Pit 50
Later, a worked and shaped granite stone, the size of a mans head, was found in an adjacent pit.
“The potential value of diviners to archaeology is indisputable” The Pattern of the Past Guy Underwood 1883-1964.