Category Archives: Survey


Another year of digging has come to an end. The trench, once dug and cleaned to reveal all we could, has been backfilled. The turf will spring back and before long little trace will remain of our explorations. But for those who came to look at the trench, memories will stir of limestone walls and the red sands of natural. We planted a few daffodil bulbs to mark the location of the two walls – a small natural reminder of what lies beneath.

It was a fantastic season of digging. We were joined by Donna and Gigi (LS Archaeology) and of course their dog Arwen, Hanneke Reijnierse-Salisbury (Cambridge University) and Jason Lucas (Open University). We were delighted to find internal walls of the north range of the Forum. From a plan of 1770, we worked out that we were digging inside 2 rooms and part of the north entrance. The walls were built of Cadeby Limestone and we are investigating where this was quarried. The floors had been robbed, and there was evidence of late Roman activity in the form of a burnt pit and midden deposits. But beneath the floor levels we were excited to find pre-forum deposits, including burnt beams and wood. We were lucky enough to have Dominic Powlesland with us to complete a photogrammetric survey and the 3D model will be available to view soon.

We’re now in the process of sending finds to specialists and drawing together our findings with the previous Radar survey and antiquarian plans. Exciting stuff!

As well as the excavation, we were joined once again by Leiven Verdonck (Ghent University) who came with his amazing Ground Penetrating Radar array. Leiven continued the survey from 2015 of the area around the English Heritage mosaics, covered new areas in Aldborough Manor and re-surveyed the village green. We look forward to his results in the next few months, but an initial look showed some exciting finds.

It was a really fantastic season, and we’d like to thank all our enthusiastic and fantastic volunteers from Friends of Roman Aldborough. Also to the whole village for being so patient and interested as we dug opposite the pub! We’re looking forward to coming back soon ….

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Filed under Excavation, Forum, Stone, Survey

End of another season….

And what a season it has been: in just a week, we have filled some of the last gaps inside the town wall, as well as venturing into more areas of the defenses. We have been lucky enough to have been allowed access to many gardens in Aldborough this year, so a big thank you to all those people who allowed us to peg out and walk their lawns – it is one of the greatest pleasures as an archaeologist to be able to tell people what is under their garden. The results still need to be processed, but there are lots of interesting things emerging, especially on the town walls in the east of the town.

Magnetometry in the Orchard. Copyright Rose Ferraby 2013

Magnetometry in the Orchard. Copyright Rose Ferraby 2013

James Lyall (Landscape Research Centre) has been working hard outside the town walls, the results of which are absolutely fantastic, and are certainly giving us plenty to think about! A picture of the town as a whole is slowly emerging, with very different characters of development around the different gates. Hopefully James will be out again before long – we’ll just have to decide which interesting area to investigate more!

Magnetometry isn't always easy.... Copyright Rose Ferraby 2013

Magnetometry isn’t always easy…. Copyright Rose Ferraby 2013

So we’re returning to Cambridge now, to start processing the new data, and to begin to unravel the new image of Isurium Brigantium and its environs which the survey has revealed.

And finally, a BIG thank you to the fantastic 2013 survey team!

The 2013 Aldborough Survey Team. Copyright Rose Ferraby 2013

The 2013 Aldborough Survey Team. Copyright Rose Ferraby 2013


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