Today’s blog from Nicole for the survey at Basing House!
Basing House Project
Today was a cold but very productive day up at Basing House.
The student teams are getting faster at recording topography and have covered huge areas of the site.
Surveying in the limits of the New House has been tricky as there are partial walls to try to identify.
One of the student teams is made up of Masters students, two of whom are planning to use Basing House as the major case study for their dissertation projects. The Masters students were working on surveying the very complex interior of the Old House today. It was out of the wind, but still very cold!
I started a photographic suvey of the various grafitti on the site. The photos below show examples of the variety of graffiti in the Old House etched into the plaster. We’re planning to use some new computational photography techniques to record this in the summer.
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After nearly 10 days back in the UK, I received an email from Jay Heidel today with some new information on the state of Antinoupolis, and some plans for the up and coming work. He mentioned that an italian journalist is producing an article on the site, and has posted a blog entry on Antinoupolis at http://filelleni.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/allarme-egitto/. Apologies for not reblogging this, there doesn’t seem to be a link.
Just in case I didn’t reproduce it, here is the link to the Egyptian Independent article on the site http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/antinoupolis-archaeological-site-being-destroyed-systematically. A scan of the article in arabic in the paper Al Masry al Youm is available here:
Article scan arabic
I will update this blog category at a later date with some thoughts, once the fieldwork at Basing House is completed.
The third day of archaeological survey at Basing House is over, and the survey teams are really getting in to the swing of things. The two minibuses arrived at 9.20am, driving from sunny Southampton into mist and freezing temperatures around Basingstoke, ready for another exciting day at the site.
Tim Sly talks to the troops outside of the Bothie
Smashing work for day two at Basing House
Basing House Project
Today was the second day on site for staff and students from the surveying module. The weather was changeable (to say the least!), but the teams still managed to get almost a full day’s work in. We were all feeling confident as we arrived on site this morning, and the teams set up quickly and smoothly. There was just enough time to take a group snap before everyone ran off to begin their work!
The plan for our week here on site is for the seven teams of students and staff to move gradually through the site, surveying as we go. Each team works on a delimited area, using landmarks such as wall and tree lines to mark where the surveying is taking place, identifying also a small overlap with any neighbouring teams. We’re aiming to survey a large part of the site, but Basing House really is very extensive…
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The great thing about this time of the year is the start of the survey season for the second and third year students and postgraduates at the University of Southampton. Every year Tim Sly, Dominic Barker and other members of staff take the students on two weeks of survey in Hampshire. This year we are taking them to Basing House, a fantastic site, crammed with Iron Age, Roman, medieval and post-medieval (civil war in particular) archaeology, on a new project run by Nicole and Gareth Beale, postgraduates at the university.
Canon on the earthworks of Basing House, pointing menacingly towards the spires and high-rises of modern Basingstoke – this one really needs a caption competition
This week the students will be doing total station and GPS survey at the site, with some resistivity. The excitement of more geophysics is still to come, with the third year students in the second week of April. However yesterday work commenced and seemed to run smoothly, with the students getting to grips with setting up and surveying with total stations, including some pretty snazzie new Leicas.
Team surveying within the inner bailey of Old Basing House
The first full day of survey is today (after orientation and work starting yesterday) so will hopefully be posting up new images and news as it happens. Also please visit Gareth and Nicole’s blog at basinghousecat.wordpress.com for further details of the project and day to day accounts of the work now, and on excavation in the summer.
Further to my recent posts on the survey at Antinoupolis, the subject of this entry is to highlight some of the quite extensive damage that is occurring at the Roman city and necropolis.
Damage to the large furnace structure at Sheikh Ebada
Finally got back from Antinoupolis to Luxor on 5th March, after a great season in the field with Jay Heidel. The Italian mission from the University of Florence closed the dig accommodation on the morning, and we took a micro bus up on to the desert edge through Deir Abu Hines and Deir el Bershar, then south along the desert road, around the Qena bend in the Nile and down to the bright lights of Luxor.
The drive and the last day or so at Chicago House have given the team time to reflect on the season and some of the results. Continue reading