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Snape Geophysical Surveying 2014

 A single training day covering the theory and practice of geophysical surveying for archaeological features was undertaken on an area of 90m2 grassland to the north of Decoy Wood, east of the village of Snape in Friston parish, as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded project, Touching the Tide. The site was chosen because it has previously produced Anglo-Saxon metalwork and the day focused on the techniques of magnetometry and resistivity for a small group of 12 volunteers. A follow up day of additional survey by local volunteers extended the survey to cover a total area measuring 180m x 70m.

A number of sub-rectangular or irregular oval features, c.3-6m across, were recorded approximately following the natural contour line. These mostly showed high resistance and a few showed high magnetic responses also. These may be anthropogenic, especially those instances where high magnetic responses were also recorded and these could merit further investigation given the known finds of metalwork and Roman and Anglo-Saxon date from the vicinity. A provisional interpretation of these features as possibly representing sunken featured buildings is not implausible. Two features crossing the surveyed area originated approximately northwest/southwest may be remains of trackways or field boundaries. A semi-circular feature at the northeast corner of the field centred clearly visible on the lidar plot, although not apparent on the magnetometry lies south of a large tree in the former hedge line and is echoed north of this line by a raised patch. This may be associated with the tree but does suggest that further geophysical survey would be merited in this area given the known presence of round barrows in the local area.

Both geophysical techniques – magnetometry and earth resistivity – have provided positive and complimentary geophysical results that contain significant anomalies. Together with previous metal detecting findings over the survey area, this indicates that the further geophysical work could build a detailed picture of its archaeological potential. The possibility of anthropogenic features is not fully supported by either the magnetometer or the earth resistance results, with a geomorphological origin being quite possible. Nevertheless, ‘ground truthing’ through more intrusive archaeological investigation would clarify their nature.


Click here to read the full report from the Geophysics training day


Click here to read about the impact of the project.


Click here to view photographs from the Snape geophysics event.