History was always my worst subject at school because I found it so uninteresting. I found all the dates etcetera boring. But riding around the local area and going off-road on my mountain bike soon led to me asking questions and suddenly I was interested in history, at least local history.
Horizon Nuclear Power issue regular news updates and it was in one such publication that I read an advertisement from AFL inviting volunteers from within the local community to apply for free training on non-invasive survey techniques for archaeology – to learn how to do geophysical surveys. I applied and was accepted.
Training took place over two consecutive weekends. Induction and theory sessions took place in the classroom followed by practical on-the-job sessions in the field.
We were shown how to calibrate the survey equipment ready for use and how to divide the survey areas accurately into grids (usually 20m x 20m but sometimes 10m x 10m squares). And we learned how, in some instances, to calibrate the equipment to compensate for systematically surveying incomplete sized grids. Then we learned how to walk the grids and collect data accurately.
We also needed to know how to complete survey sheets correctly and to record the accurate orientation of grids using fixed land marks, like gate posts or trees, to enable the grids to be accurately marked out in the future should a revisit be necessary. Finally we learned how to download the captured data onto a PC ready for interpretation including any required processing.
All very interesting and informative.
I have been fortunate to have received some topographic surveying training also. This means we were shown how to set up theodolite equipment level and layout grids to be accurately measured for differences in elevation. We then used standard symbols to depict the undulations and features of the land being surveyed, drawing them on tracing paper over a base map taken from an ordnance survey map.
Recently I have been attending Lidar Interpretation training and whilst extremely interesting I have found it rather challenging with regard to navigating the computer programmes. However “practice makes perfect” they say. I am enjoying the whole experience, there is so much to learn.