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Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Ground-Penetrating Radar Raises Questions in Southern England

Thursday, December 29, 2016

HARPENDEN, ENGLAND—The Herts Advertiser reports that archaeology student Alexander Thomas of Bristol University conducted a ground-penetrating radar survey on farmland scheduled for the construction of a new school building. Thomas says he has found “strong anomalies consistent with a large rectangular building constructed of brick or stone,” and chalk extraction pits. Historical records of the area from the medieval period through the nineteenth century note farm and mill buildings at the site, but not in the same spot as the anomaly, which he thinks could represent a large Roman industrial site and mining activity. Kris Lockyear of University College London points out, however, that no pottery, bricks, or roofing tiles have been found on the surface. “The pits are perfectly ordinary chalk pits which are dotted all over the Hertfordshire countryside used to extract chalk for marling, not for any industrial process,” Lockyear said. Archaeological fieldwork is planned before construction begins. For more, go to “A Villa under the Garden.”

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