So that’s it for another year. The Lochbrow 2014 season came to an end yesterday afternoon after a full week of survey. Unfortunately we were plagued by instrument problems, which meant that we were forced to change our plans several times. In the end our focus for the second half of the week was targeted resistivity in the north field, attempting to get some decent kite aerial photography of both the north and south fields and experiential survey.
Probably the greatest revelation this year has been the results of resistivity survey over the location of the large timber circle to the west of the cursus. In previous years targeted resistivity over parts of the cursus has been largely unsuccessful in detecting the postholes of this monument. Therefore when we began to survey the timber circle we were hoping to pick up additional features associated with the timber circle, but not the postholes of the circle itself. Imagine our excitement, then, when we downloaded the results on Thursday evening and there on the screen was an oval of low resistance anomalies, representing postholes, and closely matching the recorded cropmarks. We had indeed detected the postholes of the timber circle! To say that we are thrilled is an understatement. The next stage is to compare our results with the recorded cropmarks to see if they add to what we already know from the cropmarks. In particular, geomorphological features obscure some of the cropmarks of the timber circle, meaning that the full circuit has never been recorded. First impressions suggest that the resistivity results are providing a more detailed picture. There also appear to be additional features within the circle, some of which are likely modern in origin, others may well be associated with the enclosing timber circle. Altogether, this is a fantastic result and one about which I (Kirsty) am very excited!
We’ve also been continuing with the experiential archaeology, piloted last year and mentioned in my blog post from Wednesday. This has been on a slightly smaller scale than hoped, but we’ve recorded a number of observations in and around the cursus and timber circle in the north field. This gives us a solid base from which to learn and to build upon in future field seasons. For now the next step will be working with the information gathered and piloting methods of depicting it, something that will be an interesting and exciting challenge for the winter! Throughout the week we were blessed with some wonderful weather and, until Friday we had hardly seen a drop of rain (in a massive contrast to previous years!). Unfortunately it began to rain just as we had begun a final experiential session. We were a much reduced team by then and thankfully the rain did not dampen our spirits. All in all, a slightly soggy end to what has been a good, though at times frustrating, week of survey. We leave with some exciting results and with much to think about.