Integrating Types of Archaeological Data – Dan’s Major Project

Dan Joyce, our trench supervisor for the 2013 summer field season last year, has written a blog post to summarise his major dissertation project. Dan studied the University of Southampton Masters in Archaeological Computing last year, which he completed at the end of 2013 (well done Dan from the Basing House team!!!)! Dan’s project looked […]

Dan Joyce, our trench supervisor for the 2013 summer field season last year, has written a blog post to summarise his major dissertation project.

Dan studied the University of Southampton Masters in Archaeological Computing last year, which he completed at the end of 2013 (well done Dan from the Basing House team!!!)!

Dan’s project looked at how archaeologists can mesh together different types of archaeological data.  Dan is a graduate of the University of Southampton’s Masters in Archaeological Computing run by the Archaeological Computing Research Group.

The course has two major strands to it, one concentrates more on 3D graphics and the theory of archaeological visualisation (Gareth and I are also graduates from this programme), and the other on geographical information systems and survey.

Thanks to Dan for writing this post. 

CLICK ON AN IMAGE IN THIS ARTICLE TO SEE IT UP CLOSE.

Dissertation on the integration of digital archaeological data

Introduction

My dissertation for my masters in Archaeological Computing (Virtual pasts) at the University of Southampton was concerned with integrating different types of digital archaeological data from Basing House. This included a total station and GPS (Global positioning system) topographical survey of the site, a total station building survey of the 16th century manorial barn, lidar data of the site, geophysical survey data, total station and photogrammetry data and section drawings of the 2013 excavations as well as digital context information.

Topographical and building survey integration

As part of the practical aspect of the Advanced Archaeological Survey course undertaken at the University of Southampton a topographical survey was undertaken on the site using a total station and GPS to record points on the ground. These points were then processed in both the GIS (Geographic information system) software ArcMap and AutoCAD Civil to form a coherent surface. In the case of AutoCAD Civil a TIN (Triangulated Irregular Network) was created, this forms a surface by joining the points together to form triangles (figure 2). In ArcMap a raster DEM (Digital Elevation Model) was created, this forms a much smoother surface by interpolating the surface between the known points (figure 3).

A standing building survey was also undertaken on the 16th century manorial barn using a total station (figure 1).

Figure 1 – Total station building survey of manorial barn

The two surveys were combined, with the topographical survey and the building survey appearing together in their correct positions within the British National Grid reference system, as can be seen in figures 2 and 3.

Figure 2 – TIN of topographical survey with the building survey of manorial barn

Figure 3 – Raster of topographical survey with the building survey of manorial barn

Geophysical survey integration

As part of the practical aspect of the Archaeological Geophysics course at the university, a geophysical survey of much of the site was undertaken, this involved resistivity, magnetometry and ground penetrating radar surveys. The results from these surveys were integrated with that from the topographical survey within ArcMap as can be seen in figures 4 and 5.

Figure 4 – Resistivity survey overlain on top of TIN of topographical survey

Figure 5 – Magnetometry survey overlain on top of TIN of topographical survey

Another step was to integrate the lidar data procured of the site with GIS and the geophysical survey data as seen in figure 6.

Figure 6 – Geo-physical survey data overlain on top of lidar data of the old house

Lidar data

As we had procured lidar data of the site from the Environment Agency it was decided to experiment on it. A number of features could be seen in the lidar data of the common using a hillshade in ArcMap (or other software). A hillside creates an artificial light source within the software from a set direction and altitude causing shadows to be formed by any raised areas in the lidar data (figure 7); altering the direction and altitude of the light source can reveal different features. More on this can be seen in my blog on processing lidar data.

Figure 7 – Lidar data of the Common showing a number of interesting features

Some of these features can also be seen in the geophysical survey of the common undertaken by Clare Allen.

Figure 8 – Geo-physical survey of the common overlain on top of the lidar data

3D visualisation of existing archaeological data

As an aid to understanding the 1960s excavations before we began the 2013 excavations I digitised the plans and sections and created a 3D model in AutoCAD, although far from perfectly accurate the model made it much easier to understanding how features related to each other in this earlier dig and what was missing.

Figure 9 – 3D model created from 1960s excavation data

I experimented with a number of methods of tying the context information from these excavations to the sections, including just displaying it next to the section within AutoCAD.

Figure 10 – Digitised section with context information

A later attempt with the data from the 2013 excavations involved the entering of the context information from the excavation into an ARK database (a web accessible database solution created by L-P Archaeology), a hyperlink was created and linked to each context which referenced the relevant webpage associated with the data in the database and this data could then be displayed with one click of the relevant context within AutoCAD.

Figure 11 – Digitised section with ARK database record

Special find information could be displayed in the same manner by clicking on the relevant point in the model.

Photogrammetry

Photogrammetry is a technique where 3D models can be created from multiple overlapping photographs by matching the same point in each photograph. As well as using it to record the 2013 excavation I experimented with it to see if slides from the 1978-83 excavations could be used to create a 3D model of this dig. Although it was quite successful much more work needs to be done on the process including surveying in known points on site to aid with stitching the photographs together.

Figure 12 – Photogrammetry model of the old house gatehouse from the 1978-82 excavations

Photogrammetry was also undertaken on box 9A during the 2013 excavations to see how good a 3D model could be created (figure 13), four nails were driven in at the four corners of the box to act as ground control points.

Figure 13 – Photogrammetry model of Box 8A

Figure 13 shows Box 8A with the four ground control points which were surveyed in allowing the integration of the photogrammetry model with ArcMap as can be seen in figure 14 where the model is displayed in its correct position underneath the TIN created from the topographical survey.

Figure 14 – Integration of photogrammetry data with topographical survey within ArcMap

Experimentation was also conducted on recording the excavations from above using a camera attached to a 3m pole (figure 15).

Figure 15 – Elevated photography on a pole being undertaken

This technique allowed the creation of a 3D photogrammetry model of the whole excavation (figure 16).

Figure 16 – Photogrammetry model of the 2013 excavations

3D contexts

Due to the fact that the 2013 excavation was recorded with a total station by surveying the outline of contexts and taking levels on the top of them it was possible to experiment with the technique of creating 3D contexts within AutoCAD. First the points from the context were turned into TIN surface (figure 17).

Figure 17 – Wireframe surface created from total station survey of a context

Then the surface was extruded downwards (figure 18)., the same was done with the context below and the second 3D object was subtracted from the first to form a 3D context. This was continued until all the contexts had been created in 3D

Figure 18 – Wireframe 3D context

Due to the fact that few contexts were actually removed during the excavation part of one of the sections was chosen for this process resulting in the creation of a series of 3D contexts within AutoCAD which could be removed at will virtually recreating the excavation process (figure 19). The volume of the 3D context could also be calculated adding this information to that recorded during the excavation.

Figure 19 – Section of 3D contexts created from total station data

Integration of total station excavation data

Due to the fact that the excavation was recorded digitally using a total station it could easily be incorporated with the topographical survey and building survey data recorded previously. This can be seen in figure 20 where the surfaces created from the excavation data can be seen under the TIN created from the topographical survey in AutoCAD.

Figure 20 – Integration of excavation data with topographical survey in AutoCAD

While figure 21 shows the point data underneath a TIN surface in ArcMap which is unable to display the surfaces created n AutoCAD.

Figure 21 – Integration of excavation data with topographical survey within ArcMap

Conclusions

Although this work demonstrates the potential for the integration of many different types of digital archaeological data a great deal of work still needs to be done to make it a practical process and to solve a number of problems.

Blog post by Dan Joyce


Filed under: Dan Joyce, Data Processing, Digital Methods, Excavation Plans, Geophysical Survey, Images, Magnetometry Survey, Spring Survey, Summer Excavation Tagged: 3D, 3D context, Archaeological Computing, ArcMap, ARK, AutoCAD, barn, building survey, context, Environment Agency, excavation, gps, Lidar, MSc, photogrammetry, TIN, topographic, total station, wireframe

Using Software to Synthesise Data

Dan has put together a few screenshots of some of the awesome things that he has been doing as part of his dissertation work for the Masters in Archaeological Computing. Dan’s dissertation topic is: How can modern computer software be used to create a comprehensive synthesis of information gained from archaeological sites, and what can […]

Dan has put together a few screenshots of some of the awesome things that he has been doing as part of his dissertation work for the Masters in Archaeological Computing.

Dan’s dissertation topic is:

How can modern computer software be used to create a comprehensive synthesis of information gained from archaeological sites, and what can be gained from this approach?

In Dan’s own words:

“I am seeing how possible it is to integrate data from Topographical, Geophysical and Building Survey, Old Excavation Data (in the form of paper and permatrace records as well as photographs), Digital Excavation Data (in the form of Total Station context recording, digitised section drawings, and context records in a database), photogrammetry data, Lidar data and Ordnance Survey data within a different software solutions. i.e Esri ArcGIS, AutoCAD Civil 3D and Map 3D.”

This photo shows Peter and Gareth using the makeshift ‘pole-camera’ to take a series of photographs of the trench that Dan has stitched together using PhotoScan.

Nicole, Peter and Gareth using the 'pole-camera'

Chris, Peter and Gareth using the ‘pole-camera’

Photogrammetry results after processing the photos using PhotoScan.

Photogrammetry results

Photogrammetry results

This is a close-up of Box 8A, showing how useful photogrammetry can be in helping us to see more than we might be able to see with conventional photographs. There is some 3D geometry to this, which is hard to see in a static screenshot.

A photogrammetry model of Box 8A

A photogrammetry model of Box 8A

Dan has also been digitising the section drawings that our students and volunteers made in the final week on site.
This screenshot shows the partially digitised drawings of sections 01 and 02, using a piece of software called AutoCAD.
Section 1-2 in progress

Section 1-2 in progress

We can’t wait to see the rest of the results, Dan!


Filed under: Dan Joyce, Dan Joyce, Digital Methods, Recording Methodology, Student Research Post, Summer Excavation Tagged: AutoCAD, building survey, Civil3D, context records, digitisation, Esri, Geophysical, Lidar, Map3D, Ordnance Survey, photogrammetry, photos, section drawings, sections, Topographical

Using Software to Synthesise Data

Dan has put together a few screenshots of some of the awesome things that he has been doing as part of his dissertation work for the Masters in Archaeological Computing. Dan’s dissertation topic is: How can modern computer software be used to create a comprehensive synthesis of information gained from archaeological sites, and what can […]

Dan has put together a few screenshots of some of the awesome things that he has been doing as part of his dissertation work for the Masters in Archaeological Computing.

Dan’s dissertation topic is:

How can modern computer software be used to create a comprehensive synthesis of information gained from archaeological sites, and what can be gained from this approach?

In Dan’s own words:

“I am seeing how possible it is to integrate data from Topographical, Geophysical and Building Survey, Old Excavation Data (in the form of paper and permatrace records as well as photographs), Digital Excavation Data (in the form of Total Station context recording, digitised section drawings, and context records in a database), photogrammetry data, Lidar data and Ordnance Survey data within a different software solutions. i.e Esri ArcGIS, AutoCAD Civil 3D and Map 3D.”

This photo shows Peter and Gareth using the makeshift ‘pole-camera’ to take a series of photographs of the trench that Dan has stitched together using PhotoScan.

Nicole, Peter and Gareth using the 'pole-camera'

Chris, Peter and Gareth using the ‘pole-camera’

Photogrammetry results after processing the photos using PhotoScan.

Photogrammetry results

Photogrammetry results

This is a close-up of Box 8A, showing how useful photogrammetry can be in helping us to see more than we might be able to see with conventional photographs. There is some 3D geometry to this, which is hard to see in a static screenshot.

A photogrammetry model of Box 8A

A photogrammetry model of Box 8A

Dan has also been digitising the section drawings that our students and volunteers made in the final week on site.
This screenshot shows the partially digitised drawings of sections 01 and 02, using a piece of software called AutoCAD.
Section 1-2 in progress

Section 1-2 in progress

We can’t wait to see the rest of the results, Dan!


Filed under: Dan Joyce, Dan Joyce, Digital Methods, Recording Methodology, Student Research Post, Summer Excavation Tagged: AutoCAD, building survey, Civil3D, context records, digitisation, Esri, Geophysical, Lidar, Map3D, Ordnance Survey, photogrammetry, photos, section drawings, sections, Topographical

Day 4 – Digging a ditch and playing games!

Hi I’m Alice studying BA Archaeology. During my time at Basingstoke I’m most looking forward to learn more on the field and experience Archaeology from a time period I am passionate about-with hopefully lots of Medieval or Roman finds! And of course working on a site of such magnificent history! — Day 4 – Thursday […]

Alice

Alice

Hi I’m Alice studying BA Archaeology. During my time at Basingstoke I’m most looking forward to learn more on the field and experience Archaeology from a time period I am passionate about-with hopefully lots of Medieval or Roman finds! And of course working on a site of such magnificent history!

Day 4 – Thursday 25th July

So work begins again on this cool day. No sign of sun as of yet but a perfect day for digging. Within the trench, more mataking at the edges and new areas were being worked upon. More chalk outlines were being recognised and we were now about to exploit more of the 1960s grid excavations. What appears to be an open fire in the far right hand corner of the trench has also been revealed through extensive trowelling and finds such as charcoal and burnt wood etc. And to our delight, more of the artificial tankard replica segment has been found and seems to complete the pot. Much to our luck Nicole has been in contact with the potter, ‘Spike;’ an interesting story which will be discussed later on.

Work continues on site

Survey on the common continued all day then continued total station on the trench and another team down to the Great Barn to begin building survey; a process which allows identification of door heights, measurements and training for those who were planning to use it!

Peter, Vicky and Ian begin building survey at the Great Barn

The education team set up outside the bell tent just as we did on Wednesday. Such games and activities include the Kings Game, build your own castle, picture pairs or snap, make a shield and a display of skulls and artefacts with matching and guessing games to accompany them. The wait for 11’o clock was keenly awaited for by the group with hopes of a busy day with adults, children and families. Soon enough, families visit the tent and the children instantly take to the games. First having a look inside the tent at the skulls and replicas, then trying out the pairs game and picking up the arts and crafts that are available. There is an interest from the adults about the dig and archaeology and keen enthusiasm from all. Just like yesterday, the Kings game has proved to be a hit with both children and adults! It seemed to be an equal amount of people as Wednesday but nevertheless the kids seemed to enjoy themselves, some even coming back after cancellations last year. From talking to the children, a lot of historic interests have originated from the Horrible Histories books and television programs; a different outlook on history compared to this past week but thankfully a bit less gory! One visitor kindly shared his story of his enactment up on the common last year and in doing so lost a tooth – we were told to return it if the geo phys team discovered anything of the sort.

Children holding up their ‘castles’ after having a go at the activities set up by the education team

Students also had the opportunity to walk through the secret tunnel; a passage leading from the centre of the old house to an exit down behind our base camp, or the ‘bothy’ a 5 minute walk away. The tunnel is not an easy walk; standing at only a metre high so crouching and hard hats were a definite must!

Again the day eventually turned into a suntrap and didn’t fail to disappoint with the heat. Everyone seemed to be looking forward to the trip to HamptonCourtPalace tomorrow – an identical place to what Basing House would have looked like at its prime.


Filed under: Day Four, Student Reporter, Summer Excavation Tagged: archaeology, building survey, dig, education, student-reporter

Guest Blog: Will Heard – Spring 2013 Survey Results Part 2

Last week we published a guest post from Will Heard, as a summary of the Spring Survey that the University of Southampton students carried out this April-May. Here is Will’s second and final blog post about the survey results. Thanks again to Will! — Basing House Spring Survey Part 2 by Will Heard, 2013 Will […]

Last week we published a guest post from Will Heard, as a summary of the Spring Survey that the University of Southampton students carried out this April-May. Here is Will’s second and final blog post about the survey results.

Will Heard

Will Heard

Thanks again to Will!

Basing House Spring Survey Part 2

by Will Heard, 2013
Will is a third year undergraduate student, with interests in survey, geophysics and the use of computers for archaeological purposes. He is interested in any period of history, having worked at Basing House and on a Bronze Age site amongst others.  He is currently working on his undergraduate dissertation, which aims to use GIS systems to reveal the theoretical effectiveness against invasion of a small section of the World War II G.H.Q Line in Essex.

The Motte Resistivity Survey

Figure 2 shows the resistivity plot of part of the Motte interior with notable features enclosed in coloured lines. The bottom left high resistivity feature is most probably related to the still accessible cellar, which can be seen as a large depression on the contours.

The  high resistivity feature at the far bottom of the image has no associated topographic evidence, but it is situated in a position that may suggest it is a continuation of the feature running parallel to the cellar. If this is so, then the high resistivity feature next to the cellar may not be directly related to  it after all. The other most interesting feature is the slight low resistance feature highlighted in green, which represents a dip on the topographic model. The ground raises up to a point which is a well (circled white in Figure 3). The presence of the well leads to the assumption that this area was some sort of courtyard or open air space. This is supported by Peer’s plan of his excavations (Figure 1).

Figure 1 - Plan of the Old House as excavated by Peers. After (Royal Archaeological Institute 1924: 362).

Figure 1 – Plan of the Old House as excavated by Peers. After (Royal Archaeological Institute 1924: 362).

Figure 2 - Resistivity Survey of part of the motte interior. Notable features are enclosed by coloured lines. Negative ohm values caused by the high pass filter. Contours from a raster. ArcGIS 10.1.

Figure 2 – Resistivity Survey of part of the motte interior. Notable features are enclosed by coloured lines. Negative ohm values caused by the high pass filter. Contours from a raster. ArcGIS 10.1.

Figure 3  - Motte interior resistivity draped over the 3D TIN surface. From the north. Light from the east at 45 degrees. Vertical exaggeration at 1.5.

Figure 3 – Motte interior resistivity draped over the 3D TIN surface. From the north. Light from the east at 45 degrees. Vertical exaggeration at 1.5.

The New House Resistivity Survey

The New House site was the largest of the three areas surveyed with Resistivity and has a lot of strong features. The most obvious features are the straight lines along the entire left side of Figure 13. These are undoubtedly buried foundations of the raised New House.

The circular anomalies are towers of the sort seen in Hollar’s drawing (see Figure 15). The strength of these anomalies suggests excellent preservation and indeed, an excavation uncovered some of these remains and did not fully fill in the trenches. The resulting depression in the topography can be seen in the foreground of Figure 14.

The very low (white) anomalies in the same area are possibly caused by a slow build-up of moist, humic soils in the unfilled excavation trenches. Given the aforementioned evidence, it appears unlikely the anomalies are of historical origin. However, further south in Figure 13, some of the unexcavated strong circular anomalies enclose areas of extremely low resistance. These may be the result of filled sunken floors, or quarrying straight after the final Civil War siege.

Another area of interest is on the right of Figure 13, which is circled by a green line. This area is highly variable, with pixels of very high and low resistance and it is unclear what these readings represent. More areas of interest include the horizontal line feature and various other patches of high resistance in Figure 13.

Figure 4 - Resistivity Survey of the New House area. Notable features are enclosed by coloured lines. Negative ohm values caused by the high pass filter. Contours from a raster. ArcGIS 10.1.

Figure 4 – Resistivity Survey of the New House area. Notable features are enclosed by coloured lines. Negative ohm values caused by the high pass filter. Contours from a raster. ArcGIS 10.1.

Figure 5 - New House resistivity plot draped over the 3D TIN. Red lines show features with associated topographic variations. From the north. Light from the east at 45 degrees. Vertical exaggeration at 1.5. ArcGIS 10.1.

Figure 5 – New House resistivity plot draped over the 3D TIN. Red lines show features with associated topographic variations. From the north. Light from the east at 45 degrees. Vertical exaggeration at 1.5. ArcGIS 10.1.

Figure 6 - Wenceslaus Hollar's 'The Siege of Basing House'. The text reads 'A THE OLD HOUSE. B. THE NEW. C. THE TOWER THAT IS HALFE BATTERED DOWN. D. KINGS BREASTWORKS. E. PARLAMENTS BREASTWORKS' [sic]. After (Wikipedia 2013)

Figure 6 – Wenceslaus Hollar’s ‘The Siege of Basing House’. The text reads ‘A THE OLD HOUSE. B. THE NEW. C. THE TOWER THAT IS HALFE BATTERED DOWN. D. KINGS BREASTWORKS. E. PARLAMENTS BREASTWORKS’ [sic]. After (Wikipedia 2013)

Everyone was very pleased with how the survey went, despite some bitterly cold days and an afternoon of menacing weather in the first week. I hope that these highlights from the data illustrate just what can be done with all the data we gathered although someone more savvy with the computer software could do things much more impressive than this. Various sub-surface features were linked to surface features observable on the topographic model.  Some of these were easily dated thanks to their close proximity to known quantities, like the New House, while others were less easily identifiable. The lack of confident dates on numerous features is a reason for more work, especially excavation, on site in the future. Lastly, I would personally encourage anybody who has not been before, to go and see this great site.

References

(1924). Proceedings at Meetings of the Royal Archaeological Institute. The Archaeological Journal 81. Royal Archaeological Institute. 315-380. (Basing House pp. 359-364).

English Heritage (last updated 2004). National Monuments Record, Basing House. at: http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archsearch/record.jsf?titleId=1033242; 27 Feb. 2013.

English Heritage. (2007a). Pastscape, Basing House at: http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=240444; 01 May 2013.

Wikipedia. (2013). Wenesclaus Hollar – The Siege of Basing House at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wenceslaus_Hollar_-_The_Siege_of_Basing_House.jpg; 6 Mar 2013.

Wikipedia. (2013). Launceston Castle at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Launceston_Castle_-_geograph.org.uk_-_22242.jpg; 12 Jul 13


Filed under: Spring Survey, Student Research Post, Will Heard Tagged: building survey, gpr, gps, ground penetrating radar, leica, magnetic susceptibility, magnetometry, new house, old house, resistance survey, resistivity, survey, surveying, topographic, total station, undergraduate

Guest Blog: Will Heard – Spring 2013 Survey Results Part 1

As part of the Spring Survey that the University of Southampton students carried out this April-May, undergraduate Archaeology students who attended the fieldwork were asked to write a report summarising the survey data. One of the students that attended the Spring Survey, Will Heard, has written a summary of his report, and has kindly allowed […]

As part of the Spring Survey that the University of Southampton students carried out this April-May, undergraduate Archaeology students who attended the fieldwork were asked to write a report summarising the survey data.

One of the students that attended the Spring Survey, Will Heard, has written a summary of his report, and has kindly allowed us to share it with our readers. Will has written so much, that we’re sharing part 1 this week, and part 2 next week!

Thanks Will!

Basing House Spring Survey Part 1

Will Heard

Will Heard

by Will Heard, 2013
Will is a third year undergraduate student, with interests in survey, geophysics and the use of computers for archaeological purposes. He is interested in any period of history, having worked at Basing House and on a Bronze Age site amongst others.  He is currently working on his undergraduate dissertation, which aims to use GIS systems to reveal the theoretical effectiveness against invasion of a small section of the World War II G.H.Q Line in Essex.

Survey Summary

During March and April 2013 a topographic and geophysical survey was undertaken at Basing House by University of Southampton staff and students. Most of the topographic survey was carried out in week one between the 18th and 22nd March, while all of the geophysical survey was carried out in week two, between the 8th and 12th April. The work aimed to further the understanding of the sites layout and history by providing a computer model which will allow more detailed analysis of the landscape, and possibly help us see things our naked eyes cannot. The model will consolidate much of the smaller scale on site investigation (excavations, geophysics) which have been carried out and documented in the past. Similarly, future work of all types will be able to use the model to add onto a coherent body of knowledge. The geophysical and building survey, which was carried out alongside the topographic work, will add to this body of knowledge on Basing House.

Introducing the Site

The area has a long history with the earliest known finds dating from the Mesolithic era, although this occupation is not currently seen as continuing, since Neolithic remains are rare to nonexistent on the site (English Heritage 2004). Bronze Age flint, as well as Iron Age and Roman ceramics have also been recovered (English Heritage 2004). The most discussed period of the sites history starts in the Medieval period, with the construction of the Motte and Bailey castle (see central round and plateau like feature in figure 1) and later the Old and New Houses (inside and to the east of the motte in figure 1). The Motte and Bailey were erected sometime in the twelfth century AD and the Old and New Houses erected one after the other in the sixteenth century AD. The New House merited its own earthworks to the east of the Motte and Bailey and later, semi-circular Civil War gun platforms were added onto the earlier Medieval outer bank to the south. After the Civil War the houses were demolished, with much of the stonework taken and used in the nearby village. Other features include a dry and filled in part of the eighteenth century Basingstoke Canal (north edge of figure 1).

Figure 1 - OS Map data with a polygon overlaid (red line). The polygon represents the extent of the area surveyed topographically. ArcGIS 10.1. © Crown Copyright/database right 2013. An Ordnance Survey/EDINA supplied service.

Figure 1 – OS Map data with a polygon overlaid (red line). The polygon represents the extent of the area surveyed topographically. ArcGIS 10.1.
© Crown Copyright/database right 2013. An Ordnance Survey/EDINA supplied service.

Below, figure 2 shows the areas that were surveyed with resistivity equipment. The contours in this figure are derived from a raster.

Figure 2 - The area surveyed with resistivity equipment (contours derived from a raster). ArcGIS 10.1. © Crown Copyright/database right 2013. An Ordnance Survey/EDINA supplied service.

Figure 2 – The area surveyed with resistivity equipment (contours derived from a raster). ArcGIS 10.1.
© Crown Copyright/database right 2013. An Ordnance Survey/EDINA supplied service.

Since the survey produced one continuous area of data (see figure 3 and figure 4 below), the following pictures have some degree of overlap. The area has been split into four areas: A, B, C and D. The topographic areas B and C are the highlights included in this week’s blog post. In terms of the resistivity survey, the highlights were the Motte interior survey and the New House site survey.

Figure 3 - Basing House complete TIN with features overlain. ArcGIS 10.1

Figure 3 – Basing House complete TIN with features overlain. ArcGIS 10.1

Figure 4 - Basing House complete Raster with features overlain. ArcGIS 10.1

Figure 4 – Basing House complete Raster with features overlain. ArcGIS 10.1

Area B

Area B is the southernmost area surveyed and has the highest general elevation of any of this report’s areas. It comprises what is thought to be a long semi-circular bank that was possibly constructed at a similar time to the Motte and Bailey, as well as three Civil War raised gun platforms (English Heritage 2007a). These are clearly visible on the ground and are highlighted in figure 5. It is possible that the fact the three gun platforms are attached to the bank means that the bank was constructed earlier, since a connecting bank between Civil War gun platforms would not always be necessary. In the Civil War, the bank would have provided good cover against bombardment or assault from the south and so adding gun platforms to an already good fortification was the logical course of action. At points the ditch protecting the bank is deeper, for example at the westernmost end. Towards the southern end the ditch becomes very shallow. This variation is probably due to the natural topography, which gets higher as one goes further south on our model, this variation is highlighted in figure 6 below.

Figure 5 -  Area B TIN and Raster. ArcGIS 10.1.

Figure 5 – Area B TIN and Raster. ArcGIS 10.1.

Figure 6 - Area B 3D TIN with features added. From the east. Light from the east at 45 degrees. Vertical exaggeration at 1.5. ArcGIS 10.1.

Figure 6 – Area B 3D TIN with features added. From the east. Light from the east at 45 degrees. Vertical exaggeration at 1.5. ArcGIS 10.1.

Area C

Area C is the centre of the topographic survey area and comprises the Motte, Bailey and their respective ditches. The elevation of this area is generally quite high, while being lower than Area B (see figures 7 and 8 below).

Figure 7 - Area C TIN and Raster. ArcGIS 10.1.

Figure 7 – Area C TIN and Raster. ArcGIS 10.1.

Figure 8 - Area C 3D TIN with features added. From the west. Light coming from the east at 45 degrees. Vertical exaggeration at 1.5.

Figure 8 – Area C 3D TIN with features added. From the west. Light coming from the east at 45 degrees. Vertical exaggeration at 1.5.

The Motte and Bailey ditches are very deep, survive very well and show very nicely on the topographic models. All of the surviving cellars inside the motte lend support to Peer’s plan (figure 9 below).

Figure 9 - Plan of the Old House as excavated by Peers. After (Royal Archaeological Institute 1924: 362).

Figure 9 – Plan of the Old House as excavated by Peers.
After (Royal Archaeological Institute 1924: 362).

The variations on the east side of the bailey are caused by a previous excavation that was carried out before a bridge over the ditch was constructed. The yellow line (north side of figure 8 above) represents a raised piece of ground and is the location of a large tree.

The topographic model shows the Motte being higher than the Bailey. This is to be expected, both because the land naturally goes down northwards, but also because the Motte was where the Lord would have resided.

The form of the Motte and Bailey is very similar to other examples like Launceston Castle (figure 10 below).

Figure 10 - Launceston Castle. In size, it is smaller than Basing House. However, its Motte and Bailey design is similar. After (Wikipedia 2013)

Figure 10 – Launceston Castle. In size, it is smaller than Basing House. However, its Motte and Bailey design is similar.
After (Wikipedia 2013)

References

Anon. (1924). Proceedings at Meetings of the Royal Archaeological Institute. The Archaeological Journal 81. Royal Archaeological Institute. 315-380. (Basing House pp. 359-364).

English Heritage (last updated 2004). National Monuments Record, Basing House. at: http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archsearch/record.jsf?titleId=1033242; 27 Feb. 2013.

English Heritage. (2007a). Pastscape, Basing House at: http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=240444; 01 May 2013.

Wikipedia. (2013). Wenesclaus Hollar – The Siege of Basing House at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wenceslaus_Hollar_-_The_Siege_of_Basing_House.jpg; 6 Mar 2013.

Wikipedia. (2013). Launceston Castle at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Launceston_Castle_-_geograph.org.uk_-_22242.jpg; 12 Jul 13

Next Week: Part 2

In the next post, we’ll look at the results from the Motte resistivity survey and the New House resistivity survey.


Filed under: Spring Survey, Student Research Post, Will Heard Tagged: building survey, gpr, gps, ground penetrating radar, magnetic susceptibility, magnetometry, new house, old house, resistance survey, resistivity, survey, topographic, total station, undergraduate, will-heard

Spring Survey Week One – Day Four

Today was a cold but very productive day up at Basing House. The student teams are getting faster at recording topography and have covered huge areas of the site. Surveying in the limits of the New House has been tricky as there are partial walls to try to identify. One of the student teams is […]

Today was a cold but very productive day up at Basing House.

Preparing for day four of the topographic and building survey. March 2013.

The student teams are getting faster at recording topography and have covered huge areas of the site.

On day four, students have been surveying the earthworks at the south east of the site.

Surveying in the limits of the New House has been tricky as there are partial walls to try to identify.

Surveying the New House stables.

One of the student teams is made up of Masters students, two of whom are planning to use Basing House as the major case study for their dissertation projects. The Masters students were working on surveying the very complex interior of the Old House today. It was out of the wind, but still very cold!

The interior of the Old House today. It was out of the wind, but still very cold!

I started a photographic suvey of the various grafitti on the site. The photos below show examples of the variety of graffiti in the Old House etched into the plaster. We’re planning to use some new computational photography techniques to record this in the summer.

Grafitti in the Old House.

Grafitti in the Old House.

There is also lots of grafitti elsewhere on the site. This stone column is mounted in the wall of the Bothy, in amongst the corbels, and has a great picture of a man with what looks like a huge feather in his hat. We’ll be recording it all later this year.The corbels with their grotesque and animal faces are really fantastic. I think these would be great to record using photogrammetry to create 3D models of them as a record.

There are lots of corbels and graffitied stonework sections that I will use photogrammetry to record in the next week of surveying in April.

There are lots of stonework details around the site that have been reused to support various parts of the excavated ruins that I have started recording. It would be great to record these in detail and begin to think about finding out more about the various pieces of masonry. You can see from the images below that there are some really very high quality window and door details being used to prop up earth banks. These were put here in the late 1800s, so the ‘new’ location is just as historically interesting as the stone pieces’ original use.

In the late 1800s, much of the discovered stonework was reused to create features and support brickwork. It’d be great to record this in the summer.

Some more reused stonework in the Old House hall cellar.

Stonework resituated in the Old House.

We’ve been having a few visitors to the site over the past week, as Basing House is open to the public and we are happy to chat to people as they walk by. There have also been some visitors from local societies. Tim Sly has been printing daily reference images for the students to use as quick reference checks to ensure that we are covering the entire site, and these have been very handy to use to show interested visitors what we have been getting up to.

This is a TIN (a map of 3D data created automatically from the points the student teams have been surveying in) with some contours on it. Its only a small part of the larger survey that we have been doing, but it gives an idea of the high quality of the data that the teams have been collecting.

We had visitors today. Here, Tim and I are showing someone a print out of some of the data the students have been producing.

Lizzie Richley has been using the GPS since Wednesday to record parts of the site that the student teams are finding are difficult to survey using a total station. The GPS that we have been using does not need a base camp and so there is no cumbersome backpack to carry around. Lizzie showed me how the new GPS works, and I had a great time surveying in part of the motte and bailey this afternoon.

Lizzie spent time showing me the new GPS today., Here we are in the entrance of the Old House.

The new GPS has a function to see a map of all of the spot points, lines and areas that you have surveyed in. Its so satisfying to see all of the points appear as you walk the area that you are recording.

Using the GPS to survey parts of the site that would take a long time to use a total station to record.

Lizzie spent time showing me the new GPS today., Here we are in the entrance of the Old House.

Using the GPS to survey in spot points on the motte and bailey.

The GPS is great, but the stars of the show really are the student surveying teams. The work that they have been doing is really great. They have been working together to collect great quality data that will result in one of the first comprehensive surveys of Basing House. Without them this survey really would not have been possible. All 25 students and 8 staff members have been giving 100% to ensure that we get topographic coverage across the whole of the site; not to mention the additional building survey, which will give us a clear record of the Great Barn interior.

Tomorrow is the last day for this first part of the survey (we continue again with geophysics between the 8th – 12th April), and there is heavy rain forecast for the afternoon, so we will be working even harder to try to finish the survey before the rain sets in. So wish us luck!

Surveying the New House.


Filed under: Spring Survey Tagged: building survey, corbels, festival of british archaeology, grafitti, kdstrutt, knot garden, leica, new house, old house, photogrammetry, rain, recording, rti, stonework, survey, surveying, topographic, total station, undergraduate

Basing House Survey Week 1 Day Three – Traversing the Old House Ringwork and Tops and Toes

Reblogged from Kristian Strutt: The third day of archaeological survey at Basing House is over, and the survey teams are really getting in to the swing of things. The two minibuses arrived at 9.20am, driving from sunny Southampton into mist and freezing temperatures around Basingstoke, ready for another exciting day at the site. Read more… […]

Reblogged from Kristian Strutt:

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The third day of archaeological survey at Basing House is over, and the survey teams are really getting in to the swing of things. The two minibuses arrived at 9.20am, driving from sunny Southampton into mist and freezing temperatures around Basingstoke, ready for another exciting day at the site.

Read more… 567 more words

I wasn't able to travel up to site today due to other work commitments, but Kris Strutt has written an excellent blog post about day three of the survey over at - http://kdstrutt.wordpress.com/ Thanks Kris! It looks like it was a fascinating day, I can't wait to see tomorrow how the teams are getting on.

Spring Survey Week One – Day Two

Today was the second day on site for staff and students from the surveying module.  The weather was changeable (to say the least!), but the teams still managed to get almost a full day’s work in. We were all feeling confident as we arrived on site this morning, and the teams set up quickly and […]

Today was the second day on site for staff and students from the surveying module.  The weather was changeable (to say the least!), but the teams still managed to get almost a full day’s work in. We were all feeling confident as we arrived on site this morning, and the teams set up quickly and smoothly. There was just enough time to take a group snap before everyone ran off to begin their work!

Group shot! Undergraduate Archaeology and Archaeology/History students and staff at the Basing House Survey, week one.

The plan for our week here on site is for the seven teams of students and staff to move gradually through the site, surveying as we go. Each team works on a delimited area, using landmarks such as wall and tree lines to mark where the surveying is taking place, identifying also a small overlap with any neighbouring teams. We’re aiming to survey a large part of the site, but Basing House really is very extensive, so we are not sure how far we’re going to get in the time that we have available.

Day two of surveying. Tim giving the morning briefing to the students, before separating into teams for the day.

Our seven teams of four students and one staff member are using one total station, and have two prisms, so that every student has an opportunity to take part in each aspect of topographic surveying and building surveying with a Leica. The Leica’s we’re using are brand new (they’re so clean and sparkly), and we’ve been really impressed with how user friendly this new manifestation of the kit is.

Tim and students plan moving the total station.

You may notice from the photograph above that the sky was getting darker as the day progressed. The teams were working hard to get the areas in which they were based finished before the rain started.

Thunder and lightning pauses the surveying. The dramatic skies did make for some good photos!

By three o’clock the weather closed in on us and halted work. We all sheltered in the Bothy, and eventually reluctantly decided to travel back to the University to download the day’s data. There was even some hail as we were driving away from the site!

Sheltering from the rain, the teams enjoy a quick cup of tea and discuss surveying tactics.

Back at the university, we downloaded the data. There have been a few problems with automatic numbering of stations, but we’ll work round it!

Downloading data back at the University.

Downloading data from the total station.

Total stations awaiting data download.

Kris Strutt is blogging about his work on the site during the Spring Survey, so do check out his blog here: http://kdstrutt.wordpress.com/

One of the undergraduate teams working on the site has been surveying in the topography of the filled in trenches that we will be excavating this summer. Today, as they were surveying, I took some shots of the team as they provide an excellent scale for the trenches; thanks guys!

The trenches we will be excavating this summer.

The trenches we will be excavating this summer. Two of our undergraduate students inadvertently providing a scale for the site!

This morning some of the team for the summer excavations met with the education staff based at Basing House to plan some activities for the summer season.

We’ve been brainstorming the kinds of things that we could do, students and volunteers meeting public visiting the site. Its really exciting to think that we’ll be here over the period of the Festival of British Archaeology (13th – 28th July) and so we’re hoping to work with Hampshire County Council staff to provide drop in sessions in the last week of the Festival.


Filed under: Festival of British Archaeology, Spring Survey Tagged: building survey, festival of british archaeology, leica, surveying, topographic, total station, trenches, undergraduate

Spring Survey Week One – Day One

This week 25 students and 8 staff are working at Basing House to carry out a topographic survey of the entire earthworks complex, and a building survey of the Old House and the Great Barn. Undergraduate Archaeology students have been hard at work, learning how to use total stations for surveying. We’re on site all […]

This week 25 students and 8 staff are working at Basing House to carry out a topographic survey of the entire earthworks complex, and a building survey of the Old House and the Great Barn.

Undergraduate Archaeology students have been hard at work, learning how to use total stations for surveying.

We’re on site all week (the rain will not put us off), so do come and visit. The site is open to the public Saturday to Thursday (closed Friday). The students will be very busy, but I am sure that they would be delighted to stop for a chat and to show you what they’ve been up to.

Here some photos of our efforts today.

One of the undergraduate student teams working on surveying the Knot Garden and the Curtain Wall.

Undergraduate student team learning how to use a total station.

An army of total station carrying, prism wielding students; ready to set off this morning.

The undergraduate student teams arrive on site for a week learning how to survey.

The undergraduate student teams arrive on site for a week learning how to survey.

The undergraduate student teams arrive on site for a week learning how to survey.

The undergraduate student teams arrive on site for a week learning how to survey.

The undergraduate student teams arrive on site for a week learning how to survey.

The undergraduate student teams arrive on site for a week learning how to survey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Filed under: Spring Survey Tagged: building survey, survey, topographic, total station, undergraduate