The following projects are posted, others will follow. People wishing to join project teams, Email me using the Email Form and their names will be added. When a quorum is reached a project can go ahead. Likewise when anyone wishes to propose a project send details and it will be posted.
Contemporary accounts have the Royalist army coming from Arlesford, and occupying a northern ridge to the east of Cheriton. The Parliamentarians occupied a ridge to their south. There are however five ridges to the east of Cheriton, and its not known which combination of ridges the battle was fought over. This gives four different theories for where the battle was fought. For a degree dissertation, a field up the most northern ridge was examined by a metal detector, and all finds dug up. It was found that there were lines of musket ball up this ridge, 1/3 of them had not been fired. These were thus firing lines which also receive fire (balls which were dropped on loading were not recovered). There were some 355 Battlefield finds, 311 lead finds mostly musket or pistol balls, and some 9 lead finds not clearly of the Battle (3% of 311).
We have 2 metal detectors and can do sample surveys up and down each ridge. On Richard's Whites detector Lead (Pb) discriminates at DISC 6.5 in earth, and 8 in air. Only Gold, Copper, Aluminium, Silver, Brass, Cupro-Nichol, discriminate at higher DISC settings. But it cannot completely separate Pb from Iron which in some orientations can have high intensity. Jerry's Golden Mask detector can separate Pb from Iron completely, but not from those higher metals above. Thus the plan is to use both detectors. If Jerry's Golden Mask gives a Pb signal, it will be tested with Richard's set at DISC 8. If it gives a signal it will be one of the above metals and will not be recorded. A field with a lot of musket balls is likely to look very different than one without - we may also see the firing lines. No metal finds will be dug up, and we may be able to eliminate some of the four theories. Project members could also form a field walking line to recover surface finds. The same array would have to be used on all fields.
The project for discussion is to take the fields either side of the trackway from SU596 300 to 607 283, and south running up to the summit of the ridge (subject to landowner permissions).
If a 1% sample of each field is taken ( a magnetometer traverse of 1m wide every 100m) then a simple treatment of sampling errors for a field or group of fields of similar size and Pb intensity to the 'dissertation' field will give:
3.1 Pb Battlefield finds plus or minus square root of 3.1 (sampling error) -> 1 to 5 Pb finds.
with non battle Pb finds of 0.1 -> 0 Pb finds.
a non battle field liable to give 0 Pb finds (or 1 Pb find every 10 dissertation size fields on average).
A 2% sample of a field similar to the 'dissertation' field will give:
6.2 Battlefield Pb finds plus or minus sq root of 6.2 -> 3 to 9 Pb finds
0.2 non battlefield Pb finds -> 0 non-battlefield Pb finds
Sum: 3 to 9 Pb finds.
Non battlefield: 0 Pb find (or 1 Pb find every 5 dissertation size fields on average)
A 1% sample may produce a pattern in the fields around the two ridges on which the Battle was fought of between 1 and 5 Pb finds for fields of a similar size to the dissertation field, while elsewhere on the other ridges only isolated single finds in a few fields. If this convenient output is not obtained some doubtful fields could be upgraded to a 2% sample - or to a 5% sample which would give:
Sum 11 to 20 Pb finds
Non battlefield 0 to 1 finds (on average 1 Pb find every 2 fields)
HFC had a visit to the battle field in 2009, and the expert leading it is involved.
Richard Whaley (Project Leader), Kerry Bates (Deputy), Jerry Revell, Mark Staplehurst, Senen Henessy, Trudie Duthrie, Paul Hayes, Clare Cutler. A Plan has been discussed with the principal landowner, who wishes to develop a research plan for the whole battlefield with interested bodies.
The Ropley Group led by Donald Ashdown was responsible for finding the ground evidence for the Roman estate or Centuriation around the Road from London to Winchester, east of Winchester. In the process Donald reckons there is a direct Roman Road from Winchester to Chichester, and furthermore that the Antonini Itinerary VII refers to this Road with better matching of distances. The Road climbs to high ground at Beacon Hill, before being forced down in the valley of the river Mean at Exton, climbs to high ground around Winchester Hill and stays on high ground to Chichester. There is a decent to Exton, with 1000' of stranded ledge going in straight lengths, with a modern lane in a deep hollow way below it, and judge this to be Roman. Remains below Winchester hill are apparent. Donald has surveyed the route to Chichester at 1:25k in outline. The intention is to follow the procedure for the London Winchester Road - survey at 1:10560, locate excavations sites, and prove by excavation up to the county boundary. It is intended to form a Web archive of results, from which rapid publications can be produced in both digital and paper form. Some experiments to this end are being undertaken.
Richard Whaley, Jerry Revell (Project Leader), Paul Hayes, Stuart Bloom. Route established to Old Winchester Hill, www.nehhas.org.uk/11-2.htm, and recently the gaps therein closed by air photography www.nehhas.org.uk/rr12-3.htm. Detailed mapping will follow.
The Dorset Road Group sought our help as a result of Roman Road Abstracts mentioning a Roman Road I found as a young man in Dorset which has not been written up. This I reckon is the main Roman Road to Exeter from Dorchester to Axminister, does not follow Margary's routes in Roman Roads in Britain, and is where I learnt how to recognise them in hilly country. The Dorset Group wanted to firm up the route from Eggardon Camp near Dorchester, where the Road leaves high ground for the difficult country of Bridport and Charmouth. I assessed Margary's remains on this route, and was able to related them to a recent excavation, and show this was a Roman route, though I do not think it is the main road to Exeter. Our report is on their website. The Dorset Group has located some parts my main route to Exeter, and so this raises a potential project to map, publish and excavate the whole route from Eggardon to Axminister where it broadly stays on high ground. This will not be as difficult as the minor Roads we investigating in Hants. The remains are massive, in fact so large that people don't see them. Nearly all are on modern routes, minor lanes, cart tracks or occasional footpaths. This removes all the mapping and map error problems we have faced. Project website www.nehhas.org.uk/rrexeter.htm
Richard Whaley (Project Leader), Jerry Revell, Paul Hayes, Clare Cutler, Bev Knott, Chris Simmons, with the Dorset Road Group. Whole route mapped and is being published www.nehhas.org.uk/rrex0.htm from the web archive. A dozen excavation sites established.
John Peterson's Website at the University of East Anglia shows large areas of the country with remains of likely Roman field systems. One large area is in Kent, which stretches from the outskirts of London to the coast, and as far west as Ripe, where Margary picked up such a possible Roman Road and field system in the 1930s. The origin of the Kent system is the Roman Road out of Canterbury towards Dover. John Peterson's method involves scanning maps and computer processing the boundaries using fourier analysis. At a Framework Seminar for the SE I mentioned this Kent system, but the Roman people there said they could not find it. So I tried our boundary analysis from 6" maps, and found massive statistical significance in 2 out of 3 places we sampled. This has been submitted to the CBA SE Newsletter. Jeremy Sexton has started doing such analysis for some coastal regions. Others could pick areas, perhaps local to them, and we could gradually build up a picture of where this Roman estate occurred.
Richard Whaley, Jeremy Sexton, Dick Francis, John Peterson, Paul Hayes; Clare Cutler
Recording condition, type, and position for National Database. Best approach likely to be defining an area around volunteers for the project.
Richard Alexander (Project Leader), Jan Blatchford, Kerry Bates, Clare Cutler. High concentration recorded between Hook and Hartley Wintney north of A30.
Jerry has itineraries of routes in use at one time - places and distances from the Abbey. The object would be to find the course of these roads. Mediaeval roads are very difficult to find as there was generally no engineering work on them, and nothing remains if the route has fallen out of use and field systems which would have followed it have been removed. Roman Road methods of finding sections of modern roads, tracks, foot paths and field boundaries from the earliest maps could be employed. Research could be mounted on any known route to see if air photo evidence occurs across modern open fields. Finding all the places named in the itineraries is also likely to be the first challenge.
Jerry Revell, Paul Hayes, Clare Cutler
Produce a complete history and survey of this Iron Age Hill Fort. Some Mediaeval findings occur in our Crondall Boundary study, NEHHAS Jn Vol 2, which gives reference to an excavation done across ramparts. This indicated that what is now mainly visible is a Mediaeval deer park boundary - which ties in with the Crondall Boundary findings.
Jan Blatchford (Project Leader), Kerry Bates, Paul Hayes, Clare Cutler