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Day 14 - Carl 'balancing'

Just a short blog post this evening because I was only on site until 2.45 pm today before going to my new neighbours' housewarming party. I spent almost all the morning doing geophys, so didn't see what was happening on the rest of the site.


Given the significant Roman pottery finds near the children's play area earlier in the week, it had been decided that we really ought to scan in the south-east corner of the Gardens near said play area. It was drizzling, so initially everyone was involved in putting up the shelters and gazebos to keep everyone out of the rain. Once that was done, David Pink and the Finds Team got on with finds processing, Chris took her team off to Lenten Street again and two dig teams continued their test pits in the Gardens. Meanwhile Carl, Bretta and I started setting up a grid for doing the geophys scans, later joined by Jake. As can be seen here, Carl also got out the magnetometer to get it used to the ambient temperature and started doing his usual contortions to 'balance' it!

Carl setting up the magnetometer.

This is the area we were scanning and we opted to do resistivity and magnetometry scans of an area 40 x 20 metres to the right of view.

Laying out the baselines and walk lines of the area to be scanned, with the resistivity machine in the foreground.

I started off doing the resistivity, helped by Bretta as 'bridesmaid', i.e. holding the electrical cable out of the way of the probes.

Bretta and I operating the resistivity machine with Jake moving the walk lines for us in the background.

It is a really good workout. In each 20 metre square you have to lift and then stick the probes into the ground 1600 times.

Before you see the scan results it is worth noting that we could see quite clearly not only the existing pathway, but also where it used to be as well.

The existing path and where it used to run straight on towards the tree.

Anyway, this is what the final plot looks like. The main features are the footpaths (current and past), the giant Wellingtonia trees we had to work around - showing as green in the plot - and the playground equipment. I cannot see anything that looks like archaeology.

Before lunch we managed to complete one grid with resistivity and two with magnetometry. here is Carl doing the mag scan.

After lunch we finished the second resistivity grid. Unsurprisingly there was a lot of interference with the mag scan from the metal railings, playground equipment and garden benches so the results were fairly cluttered and I have not bothered to include them here.


Speaking of Carl, this is the delicious cake he baked us yesterday. For having said nice things about it I have been promised an extra slice of the apple and sultana cake he is going to bake us for when we clear the site on Monday!


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Alton Big Dig

East Hampshire's community archaeology group with 160 volunteer members working under professional archaeologist supervision, exploring sites at Alton, Colemore and Stroud near Petersfield.

Email: altonbigdig@gmail.com

East Hampshire Community Archaeology

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