Saturday, 18 August 2012


How are you? How has your day been?  Today has been quite fun and lovely at SERF field-school. Because I and a couple of people signed up for ‘walkover survey’ for our portfolios, we went to the area around Baadhead farm and Rossie Law fort. If you do not know what ‘walkover survey’ is, it is one of the techniques archaeologists use to identify features in the landscape. It involves walking over the surface of the land in groups of people with the gap of certain meters from each other and advance through the landscape at a manageable speed to allow time for the identification of potential archaeological and/or historical importance. I chose walkover survey because it makes me feel like I am part of a crime investigative or search and rescue team. It is a pleasure to examine and explore the landscape and to record and draw those which are of archaeological importance. Since not many people signed up for this, there were only four of us who took advantage of the knowledge of our supervisor/ trainer hence, we inquired and further asked him. Today’s weather was not really pleasant. It was rainy, windy, and very wet. This made the area to which we surveyed very boggy. Further, there were so many manures all over the place as the area is a farm and pasture land. However, do not worry, do not be put off just because I have told you we practiced in a pasture land. I am sure there are differing places to do walkover survey depending on the research goal.

Spending time with the other three people today was also a great opportunity to get to know them and work with them. Drawing and recording the two features we thought should be of significance at the height of the rainy day is quite an experience! Also, doing the  toilet on the way was quite an experience which I shall never forget as it taught me not to drink too much water before walkover survey as you will tend to move away from civilization. On the positive side, this is one of the reasons why you should do walkover survey as it will take you to areas not occasionally visited by people. Consequently, we had a fantastic view over Rossie Law hill and had a break at a farmstead ruin which is irreplaceable! I hope I have convinced you about doing walkover survey sometime in the future! My advice would be to always have waterproofs and check weather forecasts. Moreover, be prepared to do the toilet in the middle of a field, hill, etc. ^-^

Warmest Regards,
Sophia C.

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