English Heritage Thornton le Street Workshop and Lecture – 11/10/2014

Workshop: Lidar Technology –  A new archaeological resource

English Heritage will give the second of a series of workshops on archaeological techniques at Thornton le Street Village Hall between Thirsk and Northallerton on Saturday 11th October from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm. The series is intended to stimulate research into the archaeology of the county and provide researchers with the skills necessary to work in a professional manner. The workshop will be conducted by Matthew Oakey, Senior Investigator, and Dave Knight, Investigator, of the Aerial Investigation and Mapping Section based at York.

LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) was originally conceived in the 1960’s for submarine detection, but it is now used extensively for archaeological survey. It involves remote sensing by aerial surveillance using laser beams which can quickly and accurately record the ground surface in 3D. In some circumstances it can even identify features obscured by ground cover. It has been used extensively by the Environment Agency for land surveying associated with flood risk alleviation schemes and this material is now readily available to the general public. These schemes have generated a considerable archive of the county, especially of lowland areas, but coverage is by no means complete.

This technique has been used as a standard tool for mapping and recording archaeological landscapes by English Heritage for a number of years and the instructors have considerable experience in this field. Its use, alongside other sources of data such as aerial photographs, has greatly enhanced understanding of certain landscapes. The workshop will aim to equip participants with a basic knowledge of the technique including its benefits and limitations sufficient to conduct their own research.

The workshop will be a mix of theory and practice. Numbers will be limited so places must be booked in advance for each workshop along with payment at £20 per person. Payment should be in favour of English Heritage and posted to John Sheehan at 4 Arden Mews, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 1EN. Lunch is not provided. An additional charge of £2 will be made on the day to cover accommodation and refreshment costs. Enquiries to John Sheehan by telephone 01609 771878, or email jgsheehan@btinternet.com

Lecture: The Roman Roads of North Yorkshire – From Warburton to LIDAR

Hugh Toller will give the second of a series of talks on The Roman Roads of North Yorkshire at Thornton le Street Village Hall between Thirsk and Northallerton on Saturday 11th October at 2.00 pm. Admission will be £2 at the door. This series is intended to stimulate research into the routes of Roman roads in the county and ensure that it is adequately recorded.

The speaker has a BA in Roman Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology, London University, and is an experienced Field Archaeologist currently undertaking independent research into the routes of Roman roads, particularly in upland areas. He has specialised in the archaeology of Roman roads over the past thirty years, during which time he has made extensive use of antiquarian records of Roman roads and sites. He recently co-authored a report on an update of the known remains of Roman roads in Wales for the Welsh Royal Commission. And he is currently working on Yorkshire sites with the Roman Antiquities Section of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society using LIDAR technology.

LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) was originally conceived in the 1960’s for submarine detection, but it is now used extensively for archaeological survey. It involves remote sensing by aerial surveillance using laser beams which are able to penetrate ground cover and reveal hidden landscape features. It has been used extensively by the Environment Agency for land surveying associated with flood risk alleviation schemes and this material is now readily available to the general public. Hugh has used the technique successfully in recent years to identify the course of Roman roads and he will describe his recent work in the county, in particular at Ainley Top near Harrogate and from Bainbridge in the direction of Barnard Castle.

John Warburton was a distinguished mapmaker of national renown during the first half of the 18C. His map of Yorkshire was published by subscription in 1720 after exhaustive field work. For the first time in the history of mapmaking roads were shown in great detail. He was an avid student of Roman Military History and identified Roman roads on his maps, although in these cases his approach was stylistic, rather than strictly accurate. He shows a Roman road between Thornton le Street and Catterick Bridge, but to date no evidence of this has been found on the ground. Although born in Bury, Lancashire, Warburton would know the local area well as he was an exciseman and then supervisor at Bedale in 1718-19, before being appointed to the office of Somerset Herald at the College of Arms in London. Hugh will describe Warburton’s achievements and their importance today in the interpretation of the routes of Roman roads.

Further details can be obtained from John Sheehan: Telephone 01609 771878 or email jgsheehan@btinternet.com

 

 

 

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