Monday, 27 May 2013

Dissertation fieldwork photos from September-October 2012

As promised here are some of the photos of the fieldwork of Stanwick Oppidum. The survey was done on an area known as the "Tofts", a central area within the earthworks. Most of the excavations have focused here, so I decided to cover an area to the east and North of the Tofts. The east was where some of the possible roundhouses were found, although they have left no trace of their existence above ground! If you think this device can hunt treasure, its rather expensive, and you are unlikely to see a return in your investment. Geophysical equipment can pick up walls, metal, burnt objects and some other things, so it can be really useful. But it couldn't find King Richard III (although they did use geophysics); that required excavation! This particular piece of equipment is a magnetometer; other geophysical methods exist that look at radar, electricity and light. Perhaps I will cover these in another blog? I need to thank Archaeological Services, Durham University for the equipment, and my mum for the photos.

Setting up the geophysical equipment. The magnetometer measures the magnetic field in the immediate area; in theory it will pick up archaeological traces under the ground as human activity will leave a relatively stronger or weaker magnetic field than the natural deposits. One of my volunteers is on the left.

 An Old Coventrian in action! You hold the equipment a few centimeters off the ground for the best results.

Crossing the ford... geophysics doesn't compute with water! The yellow lines you can see are my "markers"; you walk with the machine in grids, often in a zig-zag line for maximum coverage. If you encounter an obstacle, you can modify the route to take this into account. Water tends to disrupt the readings in the magnetometer.

****... dropped it! Seriously though, if you drop this equipment, it costs about £7,000 to replace it.

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