Time Team Day 11 - Prehistoric Fogou
We are continuing with our Thirty-One Days of Time Team and we are throwing it back to the past with an episode from Season 3 and a prehistoric Fogou.
Tony is roaming a tunnel under a garden, what was it doing there? Who built it? What was it used for? The Tunnel is a feature in the center of a garden. The Garden belongs to Jo and Tony meets up with him and Robin. They talk about the feature and a map of the garden. This map was drawn up by an antiquarian. The trio walks around the site. There seems to hint at another tunnel. What will the Time Team discover about this feature?
Can the Time Team find the other tunnel? Can they find the site of the Iron Age settlement associated with the fogou? The site is now home to the 19th Century. The Time Team will not be able to dig at the fogou itself because it is a protected site. Jo had dowsers on the property and they said that there was a second tunnel. Mick is skeptical and will wait for the geophysics results.
The geophysics results hint at something curving that joins up with the fogou. What was the purpose of the fogou, that remains a mystery? Were they a place of refuge? A tunnel to escape warring armies? Or were they just used for storage? Mick and Tony explore the fogou and examine the tunnel carefully. There were ten fogous discovered in Cornwall and they were near rivers. There were more fogous discovered in Brittany and they are even more numerous in numbers. In Ireland, there were 1,000 fogous discovered.
However, the big question looming over Time Team, will they find more of a fogou. Trench One goes in and immediately a water pipe is discovered. Mick and Phil give the geophysics team a hard time about discovering a pipe. Tony catches up with Mick and Phil. He brings out a map that the water dowsers drew. The water dowser hints at a different location for the tunnel extension. Mick is skeptical about water dousing. Phil recommends that the water dowser goes over the land again. Tony tries out water dousing. Mick agrees to put in a “new age trench” in the ground.
Victor works on a drawing of the enclosed settlement and Robin, Jo, Carenza, and a local archeologist work with him on the drawing. The Time Team is hoping to find evidence of settlement. The dowsers’ trench is coming up empty as well. Mick makes the call to put in another test trench to see if any additional evidence can be discovered. The Time Team plans on looking at the landscape to see where they can look for the fogou extension. Is the extension under the house?
At night, the Time Team gets together for a sum up and the only trench that seems to show promise is Carenza’s trench which was dug over the wall of a potential enclosure. It was the one area of the property that was not disturbed when the house was built. So her trench is an extension and an Iron Age pot piece is discovered. Will this pot hint at an Iron Age settlement? What would a settlement look like during this period? What would the people have done?
Will Time Team find additional hints of settlement? Is another fogou on the verge of being discovered? Will Mick get over his feelings against water dowsing? Will Phil be turned into a tin miner? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out.
As frustrating as it was at the start of the episode, the Time Team turned it around and managed to find additional evidence about the history of the fogou. The section on Tin Making was fascinating and Phil was delighted with his efforts in making tin. This would be a good episode to show for a fun day.
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