Fieldwalking, September 2007

Fieldwalking, September 2007

On Saturday 15th September, a group of NCAG volunteers conducted a fieldwalk in the field at the end of Church Lane, Norton. We cannot find out what this field is called currently, but, I am reliably informed that it used to be called ‘The Top Hills’. In the 1990s a geophysical survey had indicated that there were a number of archaeological features in this field and we hoped to find some objects which could help to give an indicative date for these features.

What is Fieldwalking? It is a structured search of the field surface looking for objects which have either been made by man or influenced by man eg pottery, tile, struck flints, burnt stones.

By structured we mean that we walk pre-defined areas of the field and keep all the objects found in a single bag for each area. Thus, we can identify which objects have come from which part of the field. It is best conducted on fields which have just been ploughed and harrowed and, of course, never without the landowner’s permission.

Examining a find

Examining a find

18 of us turned up for the fieldwalking on the 15th and we organised ourselves by each taking a 5 metre wide section of field and searching this for a 50 metre length putting objects in a bag. At the end of 50 metres we used a second bag and so on. In this way we covered some 22,000 square metres in the day, ending up with a significant number of finds. These will be processed in the same way as the finds from the Test-Pits and the Summer Excavation and an analysis drawn by relating the finds to the area of the field from which they came. It is hoped that we will be able to comment on these results in a subsequent issue of the Newsletter.

Mick James

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