Metal detecting survey

Volunteers worked with The Battlefields Trust on a systematic survey of the battlefield at Edgehill. Fieldwork began on 1st August 2004. The survey built on the metal detecting survey undertaken in the late 1970s by Captain Grant, who made a detailed record of the location of each find and of the areas surveyed.

Access to the majority of the land was facilitated by the Ministry of Defence which owns the greater part of the battlefield and the cooperation of the three main tenants was also gratefully acknowledged. Only named survey team members are allowed onto the land and specific arrangements are agreed for each day because of the strict security around the MOD's Kineton facility.The Trust was very grateful to the other private landowners who allowed access to their land. 

The survey was undertaken using a system of 10m spaced transects across each available field, in order to recover as consistent a sample as possible of the artefacts across the whole battlefield. However the survey methodology was refined as the initial phase of survey work progressed, and more intensive work was undertaken later in particular areas where the initial results raised further questions. Each detectorist carried a GPS unit (satellite positioning system) which tracked and timed their survey work, to enable a record of the intensity of survey to be maintained. The GPS units were also used to record a location for each artefact recovered, each of which was separately bagged and numbered with the waypoint number from the GPS unit. The data from each GPS unit was downloaded after each day's survey into a computerised mapping system (MapInfo GIS) to produce a map of areas surveyed and of find locations. An accuracy of 10m or better appeared generally to be achievable using these hand held GPS units (Garmin Etrex Venture), which was sufficient for the recovery of the extensive patterning expected on a 17th century battlefield, but further checking of accuracy took place.

To find out more about Civil War archaeology and artefacts CLICK HERE

To download a copy of the Trust's Battlefield Survey Policy CLICK HERE


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