Walkover: 27th Feb 2011

Detailed Survey Begins

We’ve finsihed the walkovers now and today began the detailed survey work.

There were 7 hardy volunteers at this morning’s session – first of the detailed survey work.  They included Casper Harding, a friend of Chris Atkinson’s from Shepton Mallet in Somerset. Casper trained with Chris in archaeology, but currently works as a policeman.  Needless to say, we were all well-behaved this morning, although it was very cold in the wind.  The session started with setting up the plane table and electronic distance metre (EDM) at a point we chose as “ground zero” for the purposes of the map we were going to draw.  We marked the spot with a red stake.  Chris told us to be careful not to point the laser EDM upward when SAS helicopters were going by, as it could set off a signal in the aircraft indicating potential hostile targets.

The purpose of our work today was to begin detailed mapping of features of the hill fort.  We do this by measuring the angle and distance from our chosen “ground zero” and then plotting the point on our map with a compass and straight edge showing scale.  We chose a scale of 1:1000  The points are labelled with a letter to indicate what they represent, e.g., “F” for fence, and then connected.  Those points along depressions or high points are shown as a series of arrows pointing either down (for depression) or up (for ridge).  When compared to a map of the site produced by the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments in 1931, it appears we’ve already started to plot more detail of original features than their map showed. It will be interesting to compare their work with ours when we’re through.

The afternoon session continued our work of the morning, but in sunnier and warmer weather. The work involved going outside the National Trust interior fence in places in order to map the location of the current edge of the embankment. It is becoming clearer that the edge of the hill fort in some areas was perhaps several metres farther beyond the current edge.  The collapse may well have been aided by the quarrying of the embankment slopes in the past.

Here are pix of the morning and afternoon working parties doing their stuff and learning how to survey …

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