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A rival to Stonehenge? Geophysical survey at Stanton Drew, England

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 March 2015

Andrew David
Affiliation:
Centre for Archaeology, English Heritage, Fort Cumberland, Portsmouth PO4 9LD, UK
Mark Cole
Affiliation:
64 Agraria Road, Guildford GU2 5LG, UK
Tim Horsley
Affiliation:
Dept of Archaeological Sciences, University of Bradford, West Yorkshire BD7 1DP, UK
Neil Linford
Affiliation:
Centre for Archaeology, English Heritage, Fort Cumberland, Portsmouth PO4 9LD, UK
Paul Linford
Affiliation:
Centre for Archaeology, English Heritage, Fort Cumberland, Portsmouth PO4 9LD, UK
Louise Martin
Affiliation:
Centre for Archaeology, English Heritage, Fort Cumberland, Portsmouth PO4 9LD, UK

Abstract

The development of geophysical survey remains a spearhead-priority for new research and cultural resource management alike – since geophysics can find and map sites without destroying them. However, there are current weaknesses of sensitivity and resolution – the instruments cannot easily “see” small features like graves and post-holes of which so many ancient sites are principally composed. Great hopes have been invested in caesium vapour magnetometers, which the Centre for Archaeology has been promoting in England – perhaps nowhere with such dramatic success as at Stanton Drew, Somerset. Here, geophysical techniques have brought to light the lines of broad circles belonging to a previously unrecognised henge monument, and the caesium magnetometer showed these circles to be composed of individual pits about 1.4 m in diameter. The fine focus achieved for these buried features augers well for the discovery and preservation of similar sites and monuments in the future.

Type
Method
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd. 2004

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