Posts Subscribe to Heritage of Wales News Blog Posts      All Comments Subscribe to Heritage of Wales News Blog Posts     Cymraeg

Thursday, 23 January 2014

A snapshot of Uplands Initiative work at Manod Bach, Gwynedd

Royal Commission staff members, Jon Dollery and Nikki Vousden, recently joined the Commission’s Uplands project co-ordinator, David Leighton, on a visit to Manod Bach, near Blaenau Ffestiniog. We shadowed archaeologists, Richard Hayman and Wendy Horton, who were undertaking a survey of the area as part of the Royal Commission led Uplands Initiative. The long-running project aims to survey and record archaeology on all moorland over 244m above sea level. Some 2380 square km has been surveyed to date. Each year the Royal Commission awards grants to enable teams of archaeologists to record monuments and features in some 150 square km of landscape. Before work on the ground proceeds an archaeologist within the Royal Commission examines all vertical aerial photographs held at the Commission and uses GIS software to produce maps of all archaeological features. This work is currently undertaken by Mapping Officer, Jon Dollery. The mapping guides archaeologists in the identification of features as they walk in parallel 30-50m transects across the landscape. It also helps them understand long linear features such as trackways, artificial watercourses or former field boundaries.

Manod Bach, mapped using 1940s RAF vertical aerial photographs. The red line depicts the boundary of the area under survey. Possible features are highlighted in order to guide archaeologists in the identification of features on the ground.
Conversely, archaeologists on the ground can identify small features such as stone-built cairns or prehistoric standing stones that may be too small for identification from the air.

Our field-walking resulted in the verification of numerous mapped features, including a sheep fold and an intricately built sheep wash utilising natural landscape features. It also resulted in the identification of features not visible on aerial photographs, including two mine shafts, one of which was previously unrecorded.

Archaeologists noting the detail of a sheep wash. Sheep would be held in a series of walled-in pens on the natural platform adjacent to the rock outcrop, before being released through the stream.

Water-filled mine shaft.
The fieldwork was a valuable opportunity to see how our desk-based work on air photograph interpretation aids the identification of features on the ground.

By Nikki Vousden.

Subscribe to the Heritage of Wales News and sign up for the full feed RSS, just click this Subscribe to Heritage of Wales News Blog Posts RSS button and subscribe!

Also find us on: Facebook Twitter Flickr
Twitter Hashtag: #RCAHMWales

Share this post:


Post a Comment
Please comment and let us know your views or your news. Remember that what you write can be read by everyone. RCAHMW reserves the right not to publish offensive or inaccurate material.


Related Posts with Thumbnails