Graphical and Plane Table Survey of Archaeological Earthworks
Good Practice Guidance
This guidance is for anyone interested in deploying ‘traditional’ non-electronic methods of survey to record and interpret the archaeology of an earthwork site.
The use of simple methods of measurement described in this guidance using tapes, a plane table or an optical square will help both experienced landscape archaeologists and novice practitioners to develop their observational and analytical skills. The guidance covers the range of techniques that can be deployed while embedded links to specially commissioned video clips reinforce understanding by showing many of the techniques being used in the field.
The guidance also considers the integration of manual survey techniques with a Total Station Theodolite (TST) or a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).
This revised version of the 2002 edition is one of several pieces of Historic England guidance available from the Historic England website, including:
- Understanding the Archaeology of Landscapes
- Traversing the Past: The Total Station Theodolite in Archaeological Landscape Survey
- Understanding Historic Buildings: a Guide to Good Recording Practice
- Where on Earth Are We? The Role of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) in Archaeological Field Survey
- The value of these techniques
- Reconnaissance and control
- Graphical survey in the field
- Plane table survey
- The pros and cons
- Ancillary techniques
- Where to get advice
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