Back in 2013, we reported upon a project with the lofty ambition to conduct a full GPS survey of the Roman town of Verulamium (modern St Albans).
Here we are, three years on, and the survey has now been completed! (well not quite – all the magnetomentry is completed, but there is still some I’d like to do some more GPR and resistivity to go, along with the magnetic susceptibility survey)
How about some numbers? Well, Verulamium is the third biggest Roman town in Britain, after London and Cirencester. It is, however, the largest Roman town in Britain which doesn’t have a modern settlement built over most of it. We have surveyed 64.5ha of the total area of 81ha. It has taken us 83 working days starting in the summer of 2013, but we didn’t do much at Verulamium in 2014. It took 12,900,400 readings to cover those 64.5 ha. That, of course, doesn’t include the grids we did twice because of frozen sensors or other problems. People pushing the cart walked about 322km, not including having to go back to the start for partials, getting to the squares in the first place, or laying in the tapes and strings.
Hearty congratulations go to all the volunteers who gave up their time to learn how to use GPS equipment and then walk those 322km, and to the project lead, Kris Lockyer. It just goes to show what a dedicated group of people achieve, with the right leadership and training.
Although the walking may be completed for now, and the overall picture is very impressive (below) the work of interpreting the results will continue for some considerable time!
A second “Archaeology in Hertfordshire” conference is planned for November 26th to be held in Hitchin Town Hall, where no doubt the project will be presented at length.