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Geophysical Survey

Date 15 November 2013 - 25 November 2013

Event ID 1014855

Category Recording

Type Geophysical Survey


NT 00196 77325 As part of an ongoing programme of work, a geophysical survey was undertaken, 15–25 November 2013, with the aim of locating any potential buried archaeological remains associated with Linlithgow Palace and its grounds. Resistance survey, at 0.5m by 0.5m intervals, was carried out over all suitable open grassed areas within the Historic

Scotland property boundary. Targeted Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey was carried out immediately to the W and E of the Palace.

These surveys identified a wealth of anomalies across the Palace Park and Peel. There is a wide variation in the nature of response and the background level of resistance across the site. Most striking is a very well defined area of relatively uniform, low resistance immediately to the NW and N of the Palace, which is thought to indicate the possible extent of the

previously known midden deposits. There are also marked variations in the level of response in the lower lying park area to the E of the Palace, where land has been reclaimed, resulting in rapid changes in the underlying soils from sands and gravels to silts.

To the W and N of the Palace numerous archaeologically significant anomalies have been detected by the resistance survey including ditches, possible walls and evidence of terracing. While some of the anomalies detected are visible in aerial photographs taken during the 1988 drought, far more detail is provided within the resistance data. Many of the anomalies detected have already been revealed by limited excavations in 2001 and 2002, but the resistance survey has placed these excavated features in their wider context. Overall, although interpretation is cautious in some cases due to the extensive landscaping of the site over the centuries, the resistance survey results suggest the potential for extensive in situ buried archaeological remains on the lower northern slopes of the promontory.

A wide variety of linear anomalies have been detected on the lower lying area to the E of the Palace. While many of these may be due to relatively modern drainage and/ or agricultural activity some may be more archaeologically significant possibly indicating different uses of the area

over time. Although the GPR survey has complemented the resistance survey results and provided better definition in some areas, the results are not striking. It is thought that this is due to insufficient contrast between features and their fill and extensive landscaping.

Archive: Rose Geophysical Consultants

Funder: Historic Scotland

Susan Ovenden – Rose Geophysical Consultants

(Source: DES)

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