Cropmarks 2018

The unprecedented spell of hot, dry weather across Wales has provided perfect conditions for archaeological aerial photography. As the drought has persisted across Wales, scores of long-buried archaeological sites have been revealed once again as ‘cropmarks’, or patterns of growth in ripening crops and parched grasslands. The Royal Commission’s aerial investigator Dr Toby Driver has been busy in the skies across mid and south Wales over the last week documenting known sites in the dry conditions, but also discovering hitherto lost monuments. With the drought expected to last at least another two weeks Toby will be surveying right across north and south Wales in a light aircraft to permanently record these discoveries for the National Monuments Record of Wales, before thunderstorms and rain wash away the markings until the next dry summer.

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How Cropmarks Form In Summer

How cropmarks form in summer, DI2006_1443C

How cropmarks form in summer, DI2006_1443C

Wales-wide drought reveals further lost archaeological monuments

Cropmarks Gallery

The Iron Age hillfort of Gaer Fawr near Lledrod, Ceredigion, looking across the parched landscape of mid Wales.

The Iron Age hillfort of Gaer Fawr near Lledrod, Ceredigion, looking across the parched landscape of mid Wales.

 http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/303579/details/gaer-fawrgaer-fawr-hillfort

Cropmarks Gallery: Clues under the Landscape
Low reservoir levels at Nant y Moch, Ceredigion

Low reservoir levels at Nant y Moch, Ceredigion

 http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/268169/details/rheidol-hydro-electric-scheme-nant-y-moch-reservoir-and-dam

Newly discovered cropmarks of a prehistoric or Roman farm near Langstone, Newport, south Wales

Newly discovered cropmarks of a prehistoric or Roman farm near Langstone, Newport, south Wales.

A newly discovered Roman fortlet near Magor, south Wales, emerging in ripening crops.

A newly discovered Roman fortlet near Magor, south Wales, emerging in ripening crops.

The ‘playing card’ shape of Pen-llwyn Roman fort, Ceredigion emerging in parched grassland.

The ‘playing card’ shape of Pen-llwyn Roman fort, Ceredigion emerging in parched grassland.

 http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/92323/details/pen-llwyn-roman-fort

Extensive cropmarks of Trewen Roman farmstead or villa, Caerwent, south Wales.

Extensive cropmarks of Trewen Roman farmstead or villa, Caerwent, south Wales.

 http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/302142/details/trewen-caerwent-enclosed-settlement

The buried ramparts of Cross Oak Hillfort, Talybont on Usk, showing as cropmarks.

The buried ramparts of Cross Oak Hillfort, Talybont on Usk, showing as cropmarks.

 http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/142947/details/cross-oak-hillfort

The almost ploughed-down medieval castle mound at Castell Llwyn Gwinau, Tregaron, showing clearly under parched conditions.

The almost ploughed-down medieval castle mound at Castell Llwyn Gwinau, Tregaron, showing clearly under parched conditions.

 http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/303560/details/castell-llwyn-gwinau

Click here to search Coflein for cropmarks in Wales

07/06/2018

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F. Newsom-Lang
F. Newsom-Lang
1 year ago

Simply fascinating. There were people here who lived, raised children and died on these very spots. Touchstones in time.

Sonya
Sonya
1 year ago

Never knew about this until hear the interview on bbc today. It is very interesting!

Sara Evans
Sara Evans
1 year ago

Absolutely fascinating. We have land on Anglesey and are regularly approached by various groups wanting to explore a certain part of the land, Im excited to see if these photos will show us something we haven’t seen before!!

Helena Jones
Helena Jones
1 year ago

Does anyone know where on the llyn peninsula these ancient monuments ,prehistoric monuments.. have been seen please

Rob
Rob
1 year ago

Just think of all the people over the generations who called those places home.

Claudia
Claudia
1 year ago

Very interesting and cool! As a teenager I always wanted to be a Luftbildarchäologe and tried to find / see something when my father flew a Cessna (as a hobby).

Davies Robin
Davies Robin
1 year ago
Reply to  Claudia

Sadly, Luftbildarchäologe isn’t’ an English word. But it should be. (We have to make do with “aerial archeologist”.

Raffaele
Raffaele
1 year ago

Molto interessante, in attesa di eventuali scavi è importante essere rapidi nel fotografare accuratemente in modo da avere i dati anche dopo che le condizioni climatiche saranno variate

Winter Blossom
Winter Blossom
1 year ago
Reply to  Raffaele

Very interesting, while waiting for any excavations it is important to be quick to photograph carefully so as to have the data even after the weather conditions have changed.

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Jason
Jason
1 year ago

Does the photography this year include any of the early medieval religious sites? So that we can better understand the morphology of the pre-conquest monasteries please RCAHMW?

Morrison Limón
Morrison Limón
1 year ago

Thank you for making me remember my time at Cambridge, many years ago, with the late Professor JKS Sain Josehh

Robert Nolte
Robert Nolte
1 year ago

Was It was also this change in weather that led to the discovery of many more monuments and burial sites surrounding Stonehenge, helping to explain it’s construction and significance to past generations?

Eb broob
Eb broob
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Nolte

From what I understand it was a little bit less discovery of sites and more ground penetrating scanning of something people already knew a little bit about.

David Phillips
David Phillips
1 year ago

This is a great opportunity to teach an AI engine to map such sites.

David Thomas
David Thomas
1 year ago
Reply to  David Phillips

Thanks David – we’re very interested in exploring this kind of work, especially now we have such a large number of sites to investigate.

Nicole Gustas
Nicole Gustas
1 year ago

This is fascinating! Will there be any excavation of the newly discovered sites?

David Thomas
David Thomas
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicole Gustas

Thanks Nicole, we don’t have any plans to excavate. Our next job will be to map the sites accurately so we can understand them as much as possible.

Jesse Lewis
Jesse Lewis
1 year ago

Fascinating. Thank you for this.

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