26 May 2012

Version 1.0 of Snuffler Released

The title of this blog is Archaeological Geophysics with Snuffler, and yet I have hardly mentioned Snuffler at all. For those of you who don't know the history of it, I'll talk a bit about that now.

I got into archaeology the way a lot of people do, by joining a local amateur society and digging holes in the ground. I started out digging with the Mid-Sussex Field Archaeology Team and Brighton and Hove Archaeological Society. These societies had been doing a bit of geophysics, and due to my technical background, I soon became interested in this side of things. Disliking the commercial software option available at the time, I decided to start writing my own in my spare time. I called it Snuffler, because geophysics is like a wild boar snuffling for truffles. That was back in 2001. Over a decade later, a lot of new features have been added, and the software has grown from simply a personal project to something used by amateur archaeologists around the world. I decided to make it free for three reasons. Firstly, it was a personal project for me, rather than a commercial enterprise, so if anyone else got something out of it, then that was great. Secondly, as it became more than just a personal project, I thought it was worthwhile helping all the people with limited resources, who couldn't afford the commercial software options. Thirdly, I really couldn't be bothered messing about with the copy protection needed to make it commercially viable.

All of this leads me to the point of this post. The latest version of the software, version 1.0, has now been released. Yes, it's finally out of beta after all these years. I'm sure there are still bugs in there though, but hopefully not too many. So what's new in this version?

Firstly, there is now download support for the Geoscan FM256. Since I don't have one of these myself (I use a Bartington), I haven't personally tested it, so if you have problems, do let me know.

Secondly, PNG file export has been updated. As well as being able to set the invalid colour to transparent, you can now export a GIS World File, so that your PNG image can be loaded into GIS software.

As usual, you can download the software at http://www.sussexarch.org.uk/geophys/snuffler.html.

Over the next few months, I will hopefully be remedying the lack of talk about Snuffler itself with a few posts about things like filtering.

13 May 2012

Latest Results: Ringmer

I've recently connected with the Roman Ringmer Study Group, as their area of expertise is where I am looking for a Roman road. To start them off however, I helped them out with something they are currently working on, which was possible a field with something Roman in it, but also has something medieval. According to records, there is a medieval manor house, which was taxed for no less that 8 hearths, which is quite a lot of hearths, and here are the results.

All of you who know me know that something that modern isn't really my bag, so I'm strugglinga bit to interpret this a bit. There are linear features, which seem to be composed of dipole noise rather than the usual ditches, so these could be wall lines composed of a magnetic material such as brick. The strongest rectangular feature is 20 metres wide and 40 metres extending into the field, with possible subdivisions inside. There is another weaker feature stretching a further 30 metres at the same width, possible containing a 9mx19m outbuilding in the SE corner. There is noise suggesting more activity either side of the main features, but none of it is clear. Does anyone out there know more about medieval than me? If so, what are your thoughts?