Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

All our staffed properties, sites and offices, including the HES Archives and Library, are currently closed, but we’re working on plans to gradually reopen. In the meantime, you can access our services online. Find out more.

Geophysical Survey

Date 2012

Event ID 992852

Category Recording

Type Geophysical Survey


NT 504 782 – NT 506 784 (approx) The Chesters, Drem (SAM 90072) is one of the best preserved Iron Age hillforts in Scotland and is protected both by scheduling and as a PIC. However, the upstanding remains form just one element of an extensive Iron Age landscape evidenced by cropmarks identified through many years of aerial survey. Most notably, these comprise an extensive series of pit alignments which appear to reflect a cohesive system of land division potentially extending up to 5km2, and reaching as far as neighbouring hillforts at Kae Heughs (NT57NW 23) and Hanging Craig (NT57NW 89). Our project involves geophysical evaluation of these landscapes using a range of integrated and complementary techniques including standard fluxgate gradiometry and earth resistance survey. We also trialled two novel techniques currently under development and not previously used to any extent in Scotland: electrical resistivity tomography and electromagnetic survey. Gradiometry was used as the baseline technique to recover broad scale information and give wide coverage across the sites, with other techniques being used in targeted areas based on initial results and detailed field inspection.

Results from work in September 2012 were generally positive and identified the cropmark features in most areas. Several new features have been identified, including at least one probable barrow, but more significant perhaps is the new data retrieved relating to the micro-topography of the pit alignment systems and the detailed relationships between these archaeological features and the local geology.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended). Reports: East Lothian SMR and RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: Historic Scotland

Ian Armit, University of Bradford

Chris Gaffney,

Tom Sparrow,

Finn Pope-Carter,


People and Organisations