For the last week the Universities of Birmingham and Ghent have been working hard in the Stonehenge Landscape, carrying out excavations with an interesting twist.
For several years now, Dr. Philippe De Smedt of the University of Ghent has been conducting electromagnetic induction surveys* (EMI) over vast areas of the Stonehenge Landscape. He, Paul Garwood and Dr. Henry Chapman (both of the University of Birmingham) now want to be able to understand the survey data more clearly by substantiating it through excavation and coring.
Using the data from these surveys, and also coring results from work carried out towards the end of last year, the team are targeting specific features in the landscape for excavation. These features were chosen because of the particular signals they were giving out – some archaeological and some geological. These excavations and comparisons with the survey data will, in turn, support improved interpretation of EMI geophysical data from a calibrated landscape.
The team will be continuing their excavations this week (from Tuesday 4 July until Sunday 9 July) so if you are paying the Stonehenge World Heritage Site a visit, have a wander into the Landscape and see for yourself. On many of the days you will be able to chat to one or two National Trust volunteers who will explain what the team is up to.
*electromagnetic surveying – a type of geophysical survey using electrical conductivity and magnetic susceptibility, measuring properties of the soil and depth levels.