Fair-weather archaeologists?

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Bronze Age, LiDAR, Prehistory, Public archaeology, Survey
Fair-weather archaeologists?

Due to torrential rain and wind in Caithness (and seemingly the whole of Britain) today started off indoors.  Volunteer Alan from the Heritage Centre kindly scanned some of the drawings the team had been doing in the field into the computer.  AOC’s Gemma then showed volunteers Susan, George, Winnie and Paul how to use the computer software “Adobe Illustrator” to digitize the drawing scans.  Susan and George also spent some time on googlemaps looking for old chapel sites in the LiDAR data.  The chapel sites are not quite the Bronze Age landscape that is the focus of the project but it shows how useful the LiDAR data is for all different types of interests!

DSCN0220 (The morning teams: Susan and George have a look for sites on the LiDAR data in googlemaps while Winnie and Paul gets to grips with hachured plans.)

Meanwhile AOC’s Jamie showed volunteers Jonie, Richard, Terry and Alan how to type up the site records from the walkover survey.  The descriptions of the sites that were written on site were edited and compiled together into one large gazetteer to go into the final project report.

At lunchtime the weather was assessed and it was agreed that the team should finish out the day at the Heritage Centre.  What fair-weather archaeologists!  The teams swapped over their typing or drawing tasks and work continued.

DSCN0221(Volunteer groups Jonie and Richard vs. Terry and Alan in “the great hachure-off”)    

 The groups found that after drawing over the break of slope lines they had painstakingly plane-tabled, they could automatically create hachures to mark out the hut-circle banks.  “Hachures” denote slope orientation and gradient.  With a bit of tweaking the hachures that were automatically created could be edited to correctly represent the teams interpretation of the sites.  Before the end of the day one of the hut circles from Broubster had been digitized.

site 9(Site 9, a hut circle from Broubster digitized using hachures to show 3 areas of stone and earth bank making up a ring shape.  Well done Jonie, Richard and Paul!)

All in all, a rather successful day despite the weather.  It just goes to show that archaeology doesn’t always happen outside in the mud.  It certainly takes a lot of time back inside typing and drawing up the fieldwork findings.  The report is certainly on its way now…

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