Delivered by Epiacum Heritage CIO
Join Prof Stewart Ainsworth (Time Team’s landscape archaeologist) and Al Oswald (landscape archaeologist at York University) in the landscape surrounding Epiacum Roman fort in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for a practical introduction into interpreting archaeological surface remains. [see flyer] Evidence of the past isn’t always hidden below ground. If you’ve ever noticed humps and bumps and puzzled about what they might mean, then this course is for you! This Masterclass is aimed at anyone with an enquiring mind who wants to learn how to decipher surface traces of past human activity. We place a strong emphasis on the basics: close observation and thinking. These simple skills can transform your understanding of a historic site or landscape, yet are often neglected, as people turn too quickly to hi-tech solutions instead such as lidar, drones and geophysical survey. This course is about learning how to look at evidence we can see around us ‒ without any need for special equipment. “We guarantee your walks in the countryside will never be the same again!” What will this Masterclass teach me? If you are a beginner, this Masterclass will give you the tools you need to start to read any rural landscape for yourself. If you already have some experience, we will aim to stretch and improve your abilities. The outdoor teaching environment is informal and we encourage group discussions and independent thought, so please come prepared to work in teams, share ideas and defend your views. The training will include: • How to recognise patterns in the rural landscape, identify key details and narrow down uncertainties till you reach an interpretation you feel confident about. • How to understand ‘earthwork stratigraphy’ to get an idea of the date of a particular feature, and read how landscapes develop through time. • How to use other sources of evidence, including lidar and old maps, to refine the interpretations you’ve reached. • How to record your observations through notes and sketches.
The event will kick off with a meal and presentation on the Friday evening followed by two days of learning in the field and on site at Epiacum Roman FortVisit site