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Geophysical Survey

Date 20 April 2016 - 29 April 2016

Event ID 1025466

Category Recording

Type Geophysical Survey


HU 39819 09551 A programme of geophysical survey was undertaken, 20–29 April 2016, over the western half of the site of Jarlshof. The work forms part of wider investigation of the site which aims to answer research questions and inform work to improve rabbit fencing and assess damage.

A combination of gradiometer, resistance and ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys was undertaken over c0.5ha. To aid interpretation of the data, and to topographically correct the GPR data, a limited topographic survey was also undertaken.

The gradiometer survey results revealed a much quieter level of response than one might expect at such a site, but some anomalies consistent with possible midden deposits have been noted. Although the resistance survey has identified numerous anomalies consistent with possible structural remains, interpretation is cautious. It is not clear if the anomalies detected indicate buried in situ remains or are simply due to past excavations, site consolidation and landscaping. The GPR survey has broadly mirrored the

results of the resistance survey. However, much additional information has been provided. In particular, a series of curving linear anomalies has been detected which are thought to represent a network of possible former paths.

All the data sets suggest that the site does not extend any great distance beyond the currently exposed archaeology. However, well defined anomalies have been detected in the NW of the survey area, but it is not clear if these are archaeological in origin, due to rabbit activity, past excavation and landscaping, or a combination of all of these factors.

Archive: Rose Geophysical Consultants

Funder: Historic Environment Scotland

Susan Ovenden – Rose Geophysical Consultants

(Source: DES, Volume 17)

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