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Parch marks in the grass

1 September 2014

Sophisticated technology fails – human acumen wins out. Perhaps the technology is not sophisticated enough – and with geophysics that is probably a fact. These machines cost big money and all archaeological departments have them – and most amateur archaeology groups do too. The point to consider – is too much reliance and faith put in their results. At www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-28967538 … an English Heritage worker spotted parch marks in the grass at Stonehenge. Funnily enough, according to Auntie, the area had been subject to geophysics not so long ago – and the survey found nothing remarkable concealed in the ground. It turns out the parch marks are the former holes of two lost sarsen uprights, the kind of thing geophysics should be able to pinpoint (even in a fuzzy image). This happened last summer and the story has now appeared in the latest issue of Antiquity, the up market archaeological journal.

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