Friday, 12 April 2013

Armchair Archaeology

The field, and the Bumpy Line

Or in this case, bedroom window archaeology. I recently made the startling discovery that the long bumpy line I've been staring at in the field behind my house for the past six months is in fact an
old field boundary. Which, to be honest, is not really startling nor exciting. It was, however, a good little exercise in using a combination of historic maps and observable landscape features to explore the history of a particular location. As a student I have access to the excellent DigiMap resources, which include online access to Ordnance Survey, historic, and geological maps.  

By looking at the old maps, I found the boundary marked on maps from the 1900s and earlier, but not from the 1920s onwards. In order words the two fields must have been joined some time between 1900 and 1920, and the boundary no longer maintained. 

Now you see it.... (1900s)

Now you don't. (1920s)

Next time, I promise to try to make better use of my research time and make some genuinely useful discoveries. For an introduction to some of the fantastic publicly available resources available to all aspiring armchair archaeologists, read my blog post 'What lies beneath?' over on the Heritage Open Days blog. 

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