08 December 2014

Latest Results: Ovingdean

Brighton and Hove Archaeological Society are a very active group fieldwork wise, with an insanely long digging season and a lovely supportive approach to new diggers. It was with BHAS that I started doing geophysics, with Bill Santer teaching me how to do earth resistance. Bill sadly passed away this year, so I would like to dedicate this survey to him, the fantastic bloke who started me on this path. He will be sorely missed.

The site that BHAS have been digging this year is at Ovingdean, where there is a medieval manor complex within an earthwork enclosure next to the church. They have done a few seasons of excavations here on one side of the enclosure, based on some earth resitance they did before I started doing archaeology. They have excavated the main manor house, which has very chunky walls and an undercroft, and this year they have been excavating what looks like a post built barn structure next to it. There is still the other half of the enclosure unexcavated, and BHAS wanted to know what was there.

First, the original earth resistance, flattened with a high pass filter so you can see the main manor building amongst the rubble near the churchyard wall to the south-east. A trackway snakes through the middle of the enclosure from an entrance in the south-east and possibly out the other side to the north-east. To the north-west, parts of the enclosure revetments and bits of masonry buildings up against the earthwork enclosure can be seen.

Earth Resistance. Click for a larger image.

This year's surveys include magnetometry and GPR. Being chalk, the magnetometry results are predictably rubbish, but do show hits of the enclosure to the south-west. Much of the north-west part of this survey is obscured by the magnetic halo of a large water unfortunately.

Magnetometry. Click for a larger image.

The GPR was a lot more productive, showing what looks like an open sided barn and an attached dovecote against the north-west enclosure earthwork. Signs of the outer enclosure revetment are visible in other layers further down.

A single GPR slice. Click for a larger image.

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