Archaeology – July 2010

First, and foremost, the Heritage Lottery application was successful, and we were awarded £15,500 to proceed with a 12 month investigation of Manor Farm and its environs.
The project began in march 2010 with a walkover and topographical survey. Thanks to our intrepid volunteers braving some very wet and cold conditions this is virtually finished.
The next part of the project was a Geophysical survey covering areas of interest on this site. There are obvious holloways and building platforms, which were targeted to help position our trenches when the excavations begin in September this year. This has not been quite the success we had hoped for ! The method used was resistivity, where a low voltage current is sent into the ground by one spike of the machine, and is received by the other one. Basically this is testing the resistance of the ground, every half metre. Damp or soft soil, such as you would find in the backfill of ditches or pits give a low resistance reading, whilst stone or brick below the ground indicating possible structures, give a high reading. These are recorded by the machine and a printout can then be done of the area covered. Unfortunately when we came to do the survey, the ground was too dry for the machine to distinguish between high and low. Luckily we can still be guided to structures, ditches, pits and geology  by dowsing.
We do intend to give the machine a chance to redeem itself when there is more moisture in the ground.
We then continued with an exhibition of an overview of the project thus far, this was held in the Parish Room at Bredenbury in early June. On show were; Old Maps, Aerial Photographs, Project Photographs, Local Finds ( including Romano-British Pottery which appears to have been made at Batchley) and Metal detecting finds from the area. The day was a great success, again made possible by our willing volunteers. Thank You All. (see pictures below).
The Project will move another step towards completion in September, when, what I consider to be the most exciting part begins. 15 days of excavation; Brilliant !