Saturday, 17 August 2013

Charlton Barrow Cemetery Report Now Available

Charlton Barrow Cemetery and Roman Villa, Wiltshire: Report on Geophysical Survey, July 2012


A caesium magnetometer survey was conducted as part of the Marden Environs NMP enhancement project (RASMIS 6302) over an area of approximately 11ha, encompassing the Bronze Age barrow cemetery and Roman villa complex at Charlton St Peter, Wiltshire, previously identified through aerial photography and limited geophysical coverage. It was hoped that more extensive magnetic survey might enhance the archaeological record of the site and determine the survival of the monuments that fall largely within an arable field reverted to pasture through a countryside stewardship scheme. A vehicle-towed, caesium magnetometer array was used to cover the accessible areas of the site and the results confirm the majority of the barrows to the north of the site survive as very weak anomalies, although levels of magnetisation in the vicinity of the Roman settlement are more enhanced.

Authors Linford , P K , Payne , A W , Linford , N T


  1. Great piece of Heath Robinson 'hi tech' on the front cover!

    Is it any wonder that archaeology is still in the 'dark ages' in comparison to other sciences - just imagine how much more we would know about the past if archaeology had some 'real' money thrown at it?


  2. There's a few things I would say should be brought up to date, but that isn't one of them Robert. How do you think this sort of investigation should be done?

  3. Ultra sound is much more effective than radar or ground sonar - it finds babies in the womb and can tell if its a boy or girl. but would be 100x more expensive that ground radar. These 'Heath Robinson' devices are for stone walls, smaller objects that may be significant are missed and therefore the excavation is damaging. Hence the use of metal detectors on dug-out soils for missed objects.

    The layers of soil if treated correctly and scanned can tell you climate, environment and usage - all we do today is dug a hole looking for a wall as if walls are the only archaeology to find, I wonder how we will view this practice in 100 years time?

    Its not good science as its not using our 21st century knowledge to forward and understand our history - in fact is rank amateurism! If you are going to do it - do it properly if not leave it well alone, otherwise you destroy precious artifacts as the Victorian did when they destroyed 3000+ barrows in the name of archaeology and our TRUE history.

    The problem is not technology - we have this, its money!!

    Doggerlan would still be a myth of history and archaeologist would still be laurthing at Clement Reid if it was not for the sonar scans of the bottom of the north sea looking for OIL!! - Archaeology could not afford such technology even as it was available - but the multi-billionaire oil companies could and did.

    This tells you all you need to know about societies values!


  4. This tells you all you need to know about societies values!

    Society is arranged to do things when it thinks that there will be a beneficial result: Something that society in general wants to have or to know. If a research activity has garnered a reputation for not producing any results of this type, then it doesn't make sense to spend resources on it.

    So I doubt some form of ultrasound is likely to be developed for this purpose. If I were an archaeologist, I would be reviewing inexpensive and well known existing technologies to see if they have developed to the point that they can be used in archaeology.