An aerial photograph of a hillfort.
One of the vertical photographs used to record a site in detail that can be used to create 3D visualisations over large areas. Close-up of British Camp on the Malvern Hills – compare to the 3D model above. The Ground Sampling Distance is 5 centimetres. Photographer Damian Grady, pilot Mick Web. © Historic England Archive. Image reference S3282_V_0651 26th March 2019.
One of the vertical photographs used to record a site in detail that can be used to create 3D visualisations over large areas. Close-up of British Camp on the Malvern Hills – compare to the 3D model above. The Ground Sampling Distance is 5 centimetres. Photographer Damian Grady, pilot Mick Web. © Historic England Archive. Image reference S3282_V_0651 26th March 2019.

Introduction to Issue 16

Brian Kerr, Head of Archaeological Investigation at Historic England introduces a special archaeology themed issue of our Latest Research feature.

This issue focuses on archaeological research carried out or funded by Historic England.

At the time of writing we are still in Lockdown and dealing with the challenges of working from home. In ‘Archaeology from a Distance’ Helen Winton shows how the Aerial Investigation and Mapping team has adapted to safely maintain its aerial reconnaissance programme.

Polydora Baker, James O Davies, Hannah Kennedy and Fay Worley preview a superbly-illustrated atlas that will provide researchers with immediate access to our collection of perintatal animal bones.

The article by Anne de Vareilles and Jessie Woodbridge on ‘Biodiversity and Land Use: how ancient practices shaped Britain’ examines the interplay between the natural environment, climate, and human land use, which may provide lessons from the past for current responses to climate change.

‘The London wreck – a kaleidoscope of specialists, materials and artefacts’ by Polydora Baker, Duncan H Brown, Angela Middleton, Sarah Paynter and Jörn Schuster is a vivid demonstration of the results of multi-disciplinary analysis of finds from the wreck of 1656. 'The Gunnes of Warship Hazardous’ Prize by Dave Johnston shows how research into this wreck site has provided new information on the armament of the warship as well as telling us more about its wrecking in 1706.

A lot of our work comes from Regional teams who need to know more about sites or buildings to help protect them. Matt Bristow’s article on the Priory of St John the Baptist, Latton, Essex shows how aerial investigation, analytical earthwork survey and geophysical survey have combined to give us a much better understanding of this monastic site. The article by Neil Linford, Paul Linford and Andy Payne, on Mount Pleasant shows how modern geophysical survey, building on previous work, has given us a much better understanding of this major Neolithic henge enclosure.

Two articles come from our work for the English Heritage Trust. Tony Wilmott’s article on Roman Richborough shows how small-scale research excavations, combined with reconsideration of the results of previous work, have altered our understanding of this important Roman monument. Trevor Pearson’s article on Rievaulx Abbey, illustrates the development of the landscape by the monastery and the post-Dissolution iron industry.

 

Brian Kerr

Head of Archaeological Investigation at Historic England

Brian has worked for Historic England and its predecessors since joining as a Field Officer for the Central Excavation Unit in 1985, developing particular expertise in the archaeological salvage of recently-burned buildings. Brian also coordinates the research that Historic England specialists carry out for the English Heritage Trust.

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You can download this issue as PDF format magazine.

Historic England Research Issue 16

Published 17 July 2020

Keep up-to-date with projects and activities involving applied research into the historic environment.

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