30/11/11

Pre-excavation geophysical survey summary

Prior to the commencement of ‘A Town Unearthed, Folkestone before 1500 (ATU) project; and the villa excavation at ‘Jock’s Pitch’ East Wear Bay in June 2010, enlisted ATU volunteers were given a hands-on training opportunity to carry-out a three day geophysical survey under the direction of Vince Burrows (Sub Scan South-East Archaeological and Commercial Geophysical Surveys). The fieldwork was undertaken on licence from English Heritage to re-establish the exact location of the Roman Villa and to identify further possible archaeological remains that may be present outside of those identified and recorded in 1923 & 1989.

The geophysical assessment also provided an opportunity to further understand the environment that the villa was built in, by examining both grassed recreational greens for the first time revealing twelve main features inclusive of the principle roman villa complex. A number of other smaller anomalies were also detected.

With good weather conditions the ATU team surveyed a combined area of 680 metres2, that recorded two post-medieval building foundations, the course of the last remaining section of the old egress road that lead to the Victorian rubbish tip on the cliff edge, now since washed away. Along the cliff edge, just south of the villas bathhouse complex two detections suggest further possible unrecorded roman structures yet to be examined. Numerous pits, gullies and ditches were also recorded along with a modern live power cable.

At the beginning of the project, the first excavation over the foundations of one of the post medieval foundations just north of the villa, lead to the discovery of what is thought to be the only quern-making site so far identified and recorded in Britain.

One sample of several types of readings taken at the site

Note: top photograph shows resistivity survey rather than geophysical survey.

Other images and illustrations by:

Sub Scan South East Geophysical Surveys

Email: V.Burrows@gtwiz.co.uk

01304 219550   07935 2849 55

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This post is in: Background and research