A smooth road?

Not, I think. It was raining as we were packing the car this morning and the wisdom of going to site was in question. On site, however, the weather seemed fine.  Then we realised I had left a vital cable for the GPR at home.  Whilst Mike and I retrieved it, the mag got to work and managed an excellent four grids before lunch.  I tried checking connections on the resistance frame but couldn’t see a problem, and when I tried it by the car all seemed fine.

After lunch, the GPR team resumed work but the mag developed a problem.  We seem to have a damaged cable.  With some tweaking and keeping fingers crossed we managed to carry on.  The resistance system still seems to be non-functional.  I’m beginning to despair!

Despite the problems we did manage to collect some good data.  First of all, the progress image.

The survey after day 15.

The survey after day 15.

As can be seen, we have one last partial grid square to complete our long 80m wide swathe across the town.  It is a long way from one end to the other, and with all the days lost to bad weather it was a while ago that we were looking down over the town from the southern heights.

Looking at the new area in detail we can see some interesting things.

Detail of the area surveyed on day 15.

Detail of the area surveyed on day 15.

The annoying white strip is a sensor freeze so ignore that.  The sinuous ditch, however, seems to be swinging round to the west and perhaps even slightly to the south-west.  The “uber-magnetic” building does not extend further to the west, but there is a ditch running SW–NE nearby.  Most curious is the large blank area which shows almost nothing, not even much ferrous litter!  To the south of the magnetic building and the open area is a sinuous line of pits.  All very curious and fascinating.  There are faint white lines just north of the sensor freeze strip which indicate another building with stone footings.  All good stuff.

The GPR was also very successful today.

GPR results from day 15. The slices are 12-16, 16-20, 20-24 and 24-28ns.

GPR results from day 15. The slices are 12-16, 16-20, 20-24 and 24-28ns.

We have quite a grand looking building with a corridor, a number of rooms, and a big area (courtyard?) to the SE.  Placing it on the mag plan we can see where this fits in.

The day 15 GPR results overlain on the mag data.

The day 15 GPR results overlain on the mag data.

The same area as the previous image without the GPR data for comparison.

The same area as the previous image without the GPR data for comparison.

Given that we only have four days left, deciding where to send the GPR next is a hard decision.  Try to make tidy blocks, or target some interesting buildings such as the uber-magnetic ones and the row of smaller buildings along the road?  Decisions, decisions!

Let us hope for nicer weather tomorrow.

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2 thoughts on “A smooth road?

  1. Rachel James

    Hi there my name is Rachel I came across your site while helping my grandson to research Roman Verulamium. I am an amateur garden historian,a member of Herts Garden Trust. I wonder do you have. Any evidence of gardens in Verulamium. Some of the earliest garden history research was done at Pompei so I am thinking it would be good if we could pull together anything that is known about gardens in Verulium. Could you possibly give me any pointers as to where I should look.
    Yours in anticipation
    Rachel

    Reply
    1. hertsgeosurvey Post author

      Hi Rachel,
      We don’t think anyone has really looked at this before, but it would an interesting topic to study. Have you read “Albans Buried Towns” by Niblett and Thompson? It is the best current synopsis of what we know about Verulamium.

      Reply

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