Category Archives: general

Forthcoming talk

On Friday 29th November 2019, Kris Lockyear will be giving a talk on the results of the survey work entitled “Verulamium: busy places and empty spaces.”  The meeting will start at 7.45pm, United Reformed Church hall, Church Road, Welwyn Garden City.  WAS members free, visitors £3.

Where have we been? What have we done?

The project is now six years and a bit old. We started (officially) on Feb 1st 2013, and the funding ended on Feb 1st 2014. I thought people might like to see how many sites we have worked on.  I’m a little vague as do we count Verulamium as one site, or do we split it up (the Park, Gorhambury, Abbey Orchard etc.)?  I make it 30 sites altogether.  We have expanded from just magnetometry to regularly using mag, Earth Resistance and GPR, with occasional resistivity pseudosections and a little bit of magnetic susceptibility. I would like to thank everyone who comes and helps on the surveys, especially those who transport the gear around for me.  I would also like to thank the AHRC for funding the original project, the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, for allowing us to use their Earth Resistance meter and the dGPS, and SEAHA for the use of the GPR.  The Institute also pays the annual fee for the GPR software I use.

The two maps below show the sites in Hertfordshire that we have worked on, and all the sites that we have examined.  Here is to the next six years!

Figure 1: sites surveyed in Hertfordshire and immediate environs.

Figure 2: sites surveyed by CAGG.

News update December 2018

Firstly, CAGG was shorted listed for the CBA Marsh Award for Best Community Archaeology Project.  The CBA Archaeology day / AGM was held yesterday in York.  Kris, Ruth, Peter and Jim went up for the event.

Although we didn’t win (and congratulations to the group from Woking who did), it was a pleasing result to be listed in the top three projects.  Congratulations to all our volunteers who have worked at Verulamium over the years.


Secondly, this Tuesday sees the biennial “Near Surface Geophysics Group” conference at the Geological Society in Burlington House, Piccadilly.  Those of you with good memories will recall that I gave a paper about the work at Verulamium at the last conference in 2016 (sadly, the link to no longer works as that service has been discontinued). This time round I decided to make a poster instead.  As the poster is A0 (i.e., huge!), I won’t post a link to the 145mgb PDF file but I have posted a much reduced file below.  Please note, however, that even this is 10mgb so you’ll probably not want to click on it on your smart phone (for those of you who have such a thing).

Lastly, depending on the weather, a small group of us may be out surveying at Ashwell Church this Sunday.

Infamy, infamy (they’ve all got it in for me)?

Those of you who know Bloomsbury probably imagine I have a lovely view across one of the squares from my office window. Until recently, you would be right!  UCL are building a new student hub (everything is a ‘hub’ these days) and had to have somewhere to house the workers.  The solution? … a two storey stack of portacabins in a tunnel over the pavement.

The Institute of Archaeology, UCL.

The Institute of Archaeology, UCL.

Just to add to my joy, the staircase between levels is just by my window, so they have covered it in plastic…

The view from my office.

The view from my office.

It is scheduled to be like this until December 2018.  No wonder I prefer being out surveying. Jarrod Burks, who many of you will remember from the course, was out surveying the other day.

Jarrod surveying, December 2016.

Jarrod surveying, December 2016.

Seems a bit too extreme for my liking!

You may wonder what this tale of woe has to do with geophysics and CAGG?  UCL have put up a nice set of panels on the hoardings to advertise what the Institute does and to make the place slightly more inviting.  I was really pleased to see…

The Verulamium survey on the hoardings.

The Verulamium survey on the hoardings.

Yay, fame at last!  Sadly, the only caption near the image of our survey doesn’t mention CAGG, Verulamium or geophysics.

The caption.

The caption.

Oh well, never mind.  Perhaps I should find a plastic holder for our CAGG postcards and leave a few there for the curious.

Local Hertfordians maybe interested to see the article on Batford in this week’s Herts Advertiser and compare that to my posting about the survey.

Merry Christmas everybody.

Season’s Greetings to all our followers

John Dent kindly sent a photograph of his birthday cake beautifully decorated with an icing GPR.


Which reminded me that I should wish everyone a happy festive season.

I doubt we will be doing any more geophysics until the New Year, but I have some older work to catch-up on so there may be the odd post or two.

Best wishes from Kris and Ellen.