Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Our Survey Said…

This is Laura, surveying our suspected mediaeval watermill earthwork at Grange Farm in Stalmine. Please note the look of concentration on what can be seen of her face.

That’s because Laura takes contour surveying very seriously. Actually, so does Chris. And so do Michelle and me come to that matter. In fact, we reckon that contour surveying’s so important in the grand scheme of archaeology that we ought to make it a pre-requisite for any new Wyre Archaeology members to complete a three-day course in the subject before being allowed to stick a spade in the ground. It’s a great way for newcomers to become more intimate with a site. Understand the terrain and you’ll have more chance of understanding what lies beneath it. This, in turn, helps people new to the archaeologing world come to grips with why there are so many rules and regulations surrounding it. Rules and regulations, we ought to add, that tend to be overlooked by the BBC’s latest license-payer endorsed farce ‘Bone Kickers’ and/or Indiana Jones et al.
Contour Surveying is also a bit on the tedious side, so newcomers should get stuck into it straight away and me and Chris can take a few evenings off for once.

Here’s J.D. holding the stadia staff.

Please note the look of concentration on what can be seen of his face, the unlit cigarette hanging despondently from his lips and the blue marker halfway up the pole that’s actually the stadia staff specific spirit level. (Judging by J.D.’s expression here, to be honest, his spirits were already flagging considerably at this point.)
We’ve covered the techniques of contour surveying elsewhere, so you might be asking yourselves, ‘Why are they rehashing all this stuff?’
Well, the first reason is that we’ve got a few photographs hanging around that we can’t find anything else to do with, such as this one.

Actually, that’s Fiona standing by the prehistoric ditch surrounding the Newer’s Wood burial ground in Pilling. It’s got bugger all to do with surveying really, but like I said, we’ve got a few of these photographs on the hard drive with nowhere else to go, so bear with us a while longer.
The second reason is that, after three continuous days of hard work (at least they would have been continuous days h
ad they not been split over several weeks) Chris, Dave Hammond, Dave Hampson, Jean, Fiona, Barbara, Laura, J.D. and myself have finally completed the contour survey of the Grange Farm Platform. The only trouble is, just sticking the finished diagram up on this board by itself would have made for an extremely short posting, and we know how much time and effort our reader has come to expect from us as far as long-winded articles are concerned.
So, bearing all that in mind, here it is, shrunk down considerably to save web space, looking extremely green and probably not meaning a damned thing to anyone who’s not been following our progress. (Actually it probably won’t mean much to anybody who has been keeping up with our Grange Farm excavations either, but here it is regardless.)

A4 hi-res colour reproductions of this monumental work are available by sending a cheque or postal order for £40 to ‘The Wyre Archaeology Great Contour Map Rip Off Scheme’ c/o the third cubicle along, the men’s toilets behind the cafĂ© with the chicken nesting in the urinal, Wyrefield Farm, Fleetwood.


Jayne said...

"Bone Kickers" ?!
I'm going to have to satisfy my curiosity and Google it now lol.

I must get FB practicing with the level, he was reminded to do that (and properly bag/label finds) when we took the last lot of bones into the museum.

Jayne said...

Found what Bone Kickers is...
From the "fan" message boards-
"I cannot stop watching. Just as I am about to switch off, it gets even worse. It’s hypnotically dreadful…"
And they're all in the same vein.
So I'm giving it a wide berth if it crashes onto tv in Oz.

Feral Beast said...

I like that last(smirk)bi-(ha, ha, ha)t!
I wonder if the chicken nesting in the urinal lays the map's.

Brian Hughes said...


Bone Kickers has successfully managed to set the average Joe's view on archaeoligy back by approximately 300 years. Every episode appears to end with Wessex Archaeology (the real Wessex Archaeology must be a bit miffed by their portrayal I suspect) burning down some ancient ruin, destroying ancient artefacts, murdering half a dozen people with, apparently, no repercussions from the police and/or British Heritage, and then lightheartedly saying, "Come on, let's go down the pub" Tony Robinson style. It really is the most dreadful programme I've ever seen...and I've watched a few doofahs in my time that've been keeping the coopers in business with the amount of barrel bottoms they've shattered.

Mr. Beast,

I think one of them had laid a golden egg the other day...but I wasn't about to stick my hand inside to find out.

John said...

You're very smart, establishing your credentials with these serious academia posts. Hopefully it separates you from the rabble whilst you dig in the rubble. (clever that bit, eh?)

PS you left off the post code. can I give you the 40 quid via paypal?

Cheers, JOHN :0)

Brian Hughes said...

"...can I give you the 40 quid via paypal?"

If you like, although obviously I'd prefer cash. And as soon as it's gone through and I've bought a new cartridge for my printer I'll send you a contour map. Bargain!

The Actor said...

I saw the first episode of Bonekickers and couldn't believe how dire it was. I gave the second episode 10 minutes and then switched off as it had actually got a lot worse than the first one. A wise decision, I think.

I'm going to watch Hell Boy 2 to restore my faith in moving picture entertainment. :)

Brian Hughes said...


Oddly enough I managed the whole of episode one (the bottle of scotch helped), watched about fifteen minutes of episode two and then went for a bath. (I felt so dirty...I scrubbed and scrubbed but the loofah couldn't clean the memory.) Michelle, however, watched the entire series, so I have it on good authority that it didn't improve.

Ozfemme said...

Will keep an eye out for it - to avoid it - when we get it, probably in about nine years or so....

Ozfemme said...

oh, and can't something be done about that chicken?

Brian Hughes said...


It's best to leave it where it is. It makes a good bog roll holder.