Geophysics training at Lackford, Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers Project.

Two people with cart in field

Featured image: Volunteer conducting a geophysical survey with multi sensor array cart system (MACS) at Lackford (© Suffolk County Council)

Last autumn a geophysical survey was carried out over Suffolk Wildlife Trust land at Lackford in the Lark valley, as part of the Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers project .

The fields surveyed were known to have archaeology of Neolithic to Medieval date, due to finds previously recovered and recorded by local metal detector users. They were surveyed to build up a picture of archaeological activity in the Lark Valley and to help set the known sites, such as of West Stow, in their landscape context.

Nine volunteers were trained in undertaking a magnetic geophysical survey; they learnt how to use a cart-based magnetometer system and a hand-held bartington fluxgate gradiometer. The training was delivered by Phase Site Investigations and coordinated by Cotswold Archaeology.

Volunteers being taught how to use a multi sensor array Cart System (MACS) at Lackford (© Suffolk County Council)

A magnetometry survey records the changes in the magnetic field across a site and can detect possibly archaeological features based on the magnetic response.

The data collected was of good quality, with the most interesting results revealing new evidence of archaeological activity near the Church of St Lawrence (areas 4-5). This is in the form of a sub-rectangular enclosure, possibly adjoining enclosures and a trackway. These features are in an area of Roman metal detected finds and are suggestive of Roman activity due to their regular shape, but as some features are located adjacent to the church they may also be medieval in date.

Greyscale plot of Magnetic Gradient Data Areas 4 and 5 (© Phase Site Investigations)

This survey was part of an archaeological project co-ordinated by Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service , for the Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme , funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Our thanks go to all the volunteers for their hard work recovering and processing the finds and to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust for allowing access to their land and facilities for this survey.

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