We have managed a few more days at Verulamium with the magnetometer. Many thanks to everyone who helped, including two students from UCL, Isobel and Kiah, who braved the cold and wet weather to help for a day. We have been concentrating on the area from the east of the footpath up to the edge of the lake. The first image shows the whole survey so far.
As you can see, we are progressing well. My plan is to work our way around the edges of the Park anticlockwise, i.e., to finish everything between the path and the lake and around the cafe, then to do the area to the south of Bluehouse Hill (now that the wildflower area has been cut), and finally to work our way down the west side and along the south, finishing up around about the London gate.
The next image zooms in to the area to the east of the path.
Three things stand out very clearly. The 1955 ditch clearly continues to the east of Watling Street (and through the middle of the football pitch). The road running to the NNW is very clear cutting through the corner of the old tennis court. It lines up nicely with the parch mark that shows in the Google Earth image but which is now under the beach volleyball courts. Close the to the junction of the road and the 1955 ditch is a very clear stone building. What is missing is the town wall. There is an extant stretch of wall (in the hole in the survey) and a very steep bank to the north (see image below), but it really doesn’t show in the survey clearly. Part of our problem is the upcast from the lake, which was dumped on this side creating a great deal of noise in the survey data.
Last Sunday, we started a resistance survey of the area to the north of the hypocaust. Only two 20m grid squares completed so far. With the mag, we manage a 40x40m grid in about 40 minutes at 20 readings per square meter. With the resistance it will take six hours to do the same area at four readings per square meter!
We need to complete a bigger area before we can be sure of the results. I hope that if we can get enough people we can run the mag and the res at the same time.
One thing about working in the winter is that the raking light at the end of the afternoon picks up all sorts of features. The ditch below shows in our mag data very nicely.
We will be out again on Friday, and the more the merrier! Also, don’t forget the seminar at the Institute of Archaeology on the 25th November at 4pm. No need to book, wine reception afterwards.