27 April 2011 – end of Initial Phase

Today we reached a milestone in the Eaton Camp Project as we completed our resistivity geophysics work. The cows were back grazing, so it meant great care was necessary in order to miss fresh cow pats. Some of us were not as careful as we should have been :-).

This concludes the initial phase of the project. Our efforts in doing a walkover, detailed survey, and geophysics have resulted in a detailed map of the hill fort and features in surrounding gardens. The next steps will be:

  •   Chris Atkinson, our Community Archaeologist will draw our map in permanent ink.
  •  We’ll have professional assistance in using an additional geophysical technique to ensure we excavate in the most productive areas. Licenses from the National Trust and English Heritage will be requested for the use of high sensitivity caesium magnetometers on the monument. This technique is capable of detecting features such as hearths, shallow pit fills, and small structures with insufficient bulk to permit detection by electrical resistance. The results of this survey, to be conducted by a professional geophysics firm, will be read together with our resistivity data.
  •  Chris Atkinson will produce a report of the findings of the first phase of the project, including recommendations of where we should excavate.
  •  Licenses to excavate will be then be requested from the National Trust and the Secretary of State through English Heritage.

While it may take some time to prepare for the next phase of work involving volunteers, we hope to have some activities to keep the momentum going.  These include a Guided Walk on 10th July 2011 in conjunction with the National Trust in celebration of National Archaeology Month. At Chris Atkinson’s invitation, we also hope to visit other archaeology projects in Herefordshire to get a feel for actual excavation work. There’s also time to begin researching land use of the hill fort and surrounding area, and to involve other expertise in the project. For example, today we had a visit on site from Moira Jenkins, Herefordshire Geodiversity Manager for the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust. Her insight as a geologist into the origins of the Eaton Camp’s landscape will help our archaeological interpretation.  She promised to return during our excavations.  Thanks, Moira.

We also had a visit today from Matthew Payne, an archaeology student from the Hereford Sixth Form College.  Matthew is learning surveying techniques.  With permission from the National Trust and the help of his assistant (his Mom), he surveyed the incline at the current entrance to Eaton Camp.  We look forward to incorporating his results in our map.  We also look forward to a visit from other Sixth Form Students.  Chris Atkinson is working to coordinate with the Archaeology Tutor for a visit after the current exam period.

So there’s lots to keep us busy until our excavations begin.  Save up those old tooth brushes!

Nancy

Eaton Camp Historical Society

supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund

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