Saturday 30 May 2009

Geophysics begins

Well, we've finally officially begun the fieldwork phase of the Durham-Stanford Binchester Project. On Thursday two members of Archaeological Services headed out to carry out a magnetometry and resistivity survey on the location of the our planned trench. Although there are existing geophysical surveys of the fort, this new work was carefully targetted, and the resistivity was carried out at a higher degree of resolution, allowing us to get a better understanding of the site before an inch of topsoil and turf comes off. I'll try and put the first versions of these surveys on the blog early next week.

We're planning to carry out a Ground Penetrating Radar survey of the same area on Monday, which will allow us to begin to build up a 3D model of the archaeological deposits we hope to uncover, particularly the precise location of any stone buildings as well as a general sense of the overall depth of archaeology we are likely to encounter. We will also carry out a topographical survey; whilst the site appears largely flat on photographs, there are a number of features which survive as earthworks. Obviously the ramparts of the fort still stand, but it is also possible to see traces of medieval ridge and furrow and probably 19th century landscaping. It is essential that all this information is recorded before we begin excavation.

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