Remote Sensing for Community Archaeology

5 July 2013

Preliminary results of the second day of survey at Verulamium

Kris Lockyear's AHRC-funded Connected Communities project is running a week-long course in Remote Sensing for community heritage groups from 8-12 July 2013.

The course, organised by Kris and Ellen Shlasko, is being supported by the AHRC’s Connected Communities Scheme as part of the Sensing the Iron Age and Roman Past: Geophysics and the Landscape of Hertfordshire project and is being sponsored by Verulamium Museum, Bartington Instruments Ltd, DW Consulting, and Archaeology South-East, and with the support of St Albans City and District Council.

Around forty members of community heritage groups have registered to attend the course which is being taught by Kris Lockyear (UCL/WAS), Andrew Bevan (UCL), Rinita Dalan (Minnesota State University Moorhead), Larry Conyers (University of Denver), Jarrod Burks (Ohio Valley Archaeological Consultants), John Cook (Archaeology South-East) and David Wilbourn (DW Consulting).

Brian Dickinson, a member of the North Herts Archaeological Society, undertaking a magnetometer survey

Practical classes will be held in the afternoons in Verulamium Park, with the course covering aerial photography, resistance survey, magnetometry survey, ground penetrating radar and magnetic susceptibility. In addition, UCL Qatar’s UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) will be used to take an aerial photographic mosaic of the site from which detailed topographic maps can be created.

During the course the participants will get hands-on experience of the various types of surveys and in the process will contribute to our knowledge of the Roman town. Verulamium was the third largest town in Roman Britain (after London and Cirencester) and one of only four public towns which is not substantially built over by modern development. The Roman town is the successor to a major Iron Age settlement or oppidum. The modern city of St Albans is named after Britain’s first recorded Christian martyr who was executed on a hill above the Roman town in the third century, probably close to where the Cathedral now stands.

Daily updates on the progress of the course and some of the results will be posted on the project blog, along with the results on the on-going surveys during the year.