We have been very busy over the past few weeks at the Royal Commission and this week has been spent with the Reconnaissance Team. The team is split into three areas, aerial photography, maritime and uplands survey, looking for new sites in many different areas across Wales as well as monitoring known ones.
We started the week by learning how to catalogue aerial photographs onto the Commission’s database, using GIS to help us locate them on the map. It was really interesting trying to locate sites where the National Grid Reference (NGR) was not known to us, and helped me to learn more about the geography and archaeology of Wales.
We then visited sites around Borth and Ynyslas. First of all we looked at the remains of a Mesolithic peat shelf and tree stumps on the foreshore at Borth, which was amazing to think about how the landscape has changed. We also noticed an eclectic mix of houses in Borth due to different phases of development as a holiday resort, which was interesting to see. We then went to Ynyslas to look at the remains of a Second World War missile testing range and camp, which was extremely important in the development of fuel for space rockets. After this we discussed how we could move forward with community projects in Ynyslas and Borth and came up with some ideas that we will begin work on soon.
Midweek we went to Bryn Y Fan (SN93158870) near Clywedog to see what is involved in the Uplands Archaeology Initiative and talked to Paul Sambrook and Jenny Hall of Trysor about the community archaeology they undertake. We walked up and around the hill for most of the day looking for any archaeological sites. We did find some Cairns which was really exciting which we recorded by taking a NGR, measurements and photos.
Towards the end of the week we discussed our learning plans for this year, we then observed a talk on the Britain From Above Project to find out more about the work carried out with the community and aerial photographs.
As part of learning about maritime reconnaissance, we added information about wrecks to the maritime database, we learnt how to map fish traps on GIS using LIDAR, maps and aerial photographs to help. This was very informative and it is surprising how features show up using different techniques.
By Sarahjayne Clements, Community Archaeology Training Placement
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