Another Bronze Age hut circle? Surely not!

Posted by on Jul 16, 2015 in Bronze Age, LiDAR, Prehistory, Public archaeology, Survey
Another Bronze Age hut circle? Surely not!

What a tremendous day we had on site on site today in the sun and wind!DSCN0209

(What a beautiful day and landscape.  Oh, to be an archaeological surveyor…)

The team went back to Broubster to finish off the sites they didn’t get around to on Wednesday.  Unsurprisingly they recorded more hut circles, but they also surveyed a slightly later oval-shaped structure using tape and offset drawing.  Volunteers Winnie and Susan were led in this pursuit by AOC’s Jamie which AOC’s Gemma showed volunteers Jonie and Richard how to operate Michelle (AOC’s GPS).  Fully trained volunteers Paul and Carol returned to the hut circles they had recorded, using Michelle, the day before and marked up printouts of their surveys putting in detail such as hachures.

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(Volunteers Winnie and Susan record an oval-shaped structure with offset drawing with Jonie, Richard and Michelle recording their drawing points, and AOC’s Gemma shamelessly plugging the company)

After lunch everybody wandered across the road (carefully, holding hands in pairs while looking right, then left and right again) to another set of hut circles.  Out came the trusty plane tables (we really should give them names), sharpened pencils and alidades.  Alidades are the sighting instrument used with the plane-table to mark out the alignment of the ranging rod from the plane-table.  AOC’s Jamie’s groups of volunteers Paul, Carol, Terry, Winnie and Susan then got to work.


(Volunteer Susan looking through the alidade to volunteer Terry who is marking the edge of the hut circle using his ranging rod.  Baillie Wind Farm beautifully situated in the background, without which this project wouldn’t exist)

AOC’s Gemma took her group of Jonie and Richard down to the south of Broubster, with Michelle, to record a set of burnt mounds.  The boggy ground was pretty hard-going with Jonie taking an unexpected quick sit-down in a muddy drain.  No picture unfortunately!  Volunteer Alan appeared through the bog at one point (only finding the group because of AOC’s excellent hi-viz outfits) and scampered ahead to navigate the group.


(“Ner, ner, na-ner, ner,  I’m the quickest bog walker!”  Yes, thank you Alan for navigating everyone to the possible burnt mounds.)  

Once at the burnt mounds volunteers Jonie and Richard used Michelle to record the four possible burnt mounds marking out their croissant shapes using their top and bottom break of slope GPS codes.


(Jonie: “I can feel the break of slope under my feet here”. Richard: “OK dear, just levelling the pole before I take my point.  Michelle: “Beep.  Observation stored”)

An excellent days work under very hot conditions so well done everyone.  Last point of the day was to pack away Michelle’s base station.  If you’re ever feeling lonely just remember the life of the DGPS base station is that much lonelier…


                                                            (“Err, Guys?  Was it something I said?)

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