Just a quick post today.
I went back to Cley Hill on Wednesday. Balmy warm in September but chillier now. Ben gave me a lift along the track to the stile but then we loaded up with equipment and slogged up the steep hill. Pausing for breath we saw the melting first frost of the season create a mist rising from the fields.
Geophysics is always a race against time. How many grids can we do in a day. First lay out the 20m grids. Dave stretched his 100m tapes across the hill top. He can move fast with his double magnetometer and covers about 40 grids in a day. The resistivity meter is slower and 10 grids is pretty good for it.
I put it all together and placed the probes in the ground. Walked the first row and every reading was completely different. It was bust. The cable had broken somewhere. I cut a bit off and reconnected it. No good.
Ben and the other Wiltshire National Trust Rangers began bringing up the chalk in the powered wheelbarrows. The place is popular. When the ground is worn down by many feet it needs a repair to prevent buried archaeological deposits from being worn away.
Dave did well. He finished the area we had planned and the results show buried pits and hut platforms from the Iron Age hill top settlement as well as the ditches of the burial mounds there. We have more to do and we’ll go back in the Spring once the resistivity meter’s fixed and it warms up again.
A beautiful sunny day but the wind, the wind….
I often wonder when I,m stood in these places what lies beneath my feet. Who had walked there before me, what their lives had been like, their loves, their fears. If I had my life again I would have loved to have become an archaeologist.
Yes, I agree. To stand on a spot and imagine. The Outer Gatehouse at Corfe Castle is particularly good. Stand in that space and you know that Edward I, Brave Dame Mary Bankes, John Wesley and countless others have all walked there before you.