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Field to Forest: Relict Field Systems in East Berkshire.

School of Archaeology

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Prof M Bell , Dr D Garrow Applications accepted all year round Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Flemming, 1987; Yates, 2007). The primary method for identifying these field systems has been aerial photography, which has identified extensive relict field systems on the Berkshire Downs (Ford, Bowden, Mees, & Gaffney, 1988; Levick, 2015; P. Rhodes, 1950). A recent resource assessment has now highlighted significant potential for field systems to be identified in east Berkshire using LiDAR. This is a significant discovery, showing that relict field systems are more widespread and better preserved in east Berkshire than previously thought, possibly due to the area having been forested for much of the middle ages and early modern period.

Whilst this preliminary study has identified new field systems, their extent, nature, and date are currently unknown, and they deserve further investigation. Levick (2015) has recently shown the value of an integrated approach to field systems in the Berkshire Downs, utilising a combination of aerial photography, LiDAR, historic maps, field surveys, geophysics and metal detected finds; all resources which are also available for east Berkshire. Fieldwork in the form of site visits, boreholes and test pits could further enhance this data and provide dates for some features. Working with the National Trust opens up the opportunity to carry out community projects investigating these features.

Funding Notes

We will work with the student to apply for DTP funding.
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