Archaeology South-East


ASE Takes Stock: Steve Patton, Prehistoric Pottery Specialist / Field Archaeologist

7 May 2020

Steve recently joined the post excavation team as one of the prehistoric pottery specialists, so his days now involve analysing pottery and writing reports, rather than digging/ recording features on sites - sometimes in the snow! He Took Stock before being placed on furlough.

Steve out on site in the snow

Current work and situation

Like all my colleagues I’m working from home, so I have boxes of prehistoric pottery piled up in the living room! I’m currently working on predominantly Bronze Age assemblages from Sussex, Kent and Essex, but also some Early Neolithic pottery that’s around 6,000 years old. Our recently adopted rescue cat is also keen to examine the boxes once I remove the contents.

Steve's rescue cat, the lovely Millie. She loves a finds box!

Looking back on last year

I excavated a lot of features last year, but my favourite was a Late Neolithic pit that had probably been used as a shelter before it was purposefully backfilled. One side of the pit had stake holes indicating an upright structure had been there, and once it wasn’t in use anymore it was filled with flint, pottery and ash. I’m now working on the pottery, and once myself and our flint specialist have completed the artefact analysis we will work with the site supervisor to more fully interpret the findings.

Another interesting job was recording a preserved Post-Medieval timber structure in the pond at Bateman’s in Burwash, which was Rudyard Kipling’s home. The start of each morning involved safely moving the frogs out of the area in which we were working!

Rescuing frogs on site

Looking forward to post-lockdown

I’m looking forward to sitting on the beach in Brighton again as summers here are great. Regarding work, I’m enjoying the range of prehistoric ceramics I’m working on so looking forward to seeing what my field colleagues find for me to look at next!

Prehistoric pottery