This week I have been working with Patricia Voke who leads the geophysics team at the London & South East Office. The team are really busy at the moment and needed my expert help. Geophysics is a great way to investigate sites without digging holes – it is also a brilliant way to identify the best areas to dig holes. This minimises costs, damage and disruption at early stages.
We have lots of different techniques from resistance surveys that measure the electrical resistance of the ground, to ground penetrating radar, which uses radio waves like the radar used for planes, but we use it to see below the ground. This week we are using a magnetometer which measures changes in the earth’s magnetic field. Technical stuff but really interesting!
We then download the information onto a laptop where the data is processed with some complicated software. It takes a lot of skill as the equipment doesn’t know what is archaeology and what isn’t – that takes some complicated programmes and a lot of skill by the geophysicist – I think Trish was impressed with my skills.
But like of lot of archaeology – there is a lot of hard work and it’s really hot at the moment ... and I am quite furry.
The one thing I have learnt over this week is that geophysics isn’t like dowsing at all! ... and the equipment is a bit more expensive than a bent coat hanger.
See you soon – have no idea what I will be up to next week ... if you are reading this managers that was a hint – what am I doing next week?