3. Methods

3.1 Geophysical survey

Fluxgate gradiometer and earth resistance surveys were conducted at the hilltop in February 2016, subject to the conditions set out by the Section 42 Licence issued by Historic England. Geophysical prospection was chosen in light of the site's sensitive ecology and the suitability of the bedrock geology. The surveys comprised (Figure 5):

Figure 5
Figure 5: Locations of the geophysical survey areas at the hilltop

As the quicker method, gradiometry was used for the initial survey over a wide area, which allowed for a targeted resistivity survey to focus on specific areas of possible archaeological importance (David et al. 2008, 20). The methodology was informed by previous remote sensing-led studies, which have had a significant bearing on the understanding of hillfort interiors (e.g. Payne et al. 2006). The survey metadata is listed in the project's entry deposited with the Archaeology Data Service (Whittaker 2019).

3.2 Digital terrain modelling

The 2014 LiDAR survey undertaken by the Environment Agency over Breedon Hill obtained high-resolution 50cm height data, covering a discrete area that included the hilltop and the full extent of the quarry site. The raw data was downloaded from the Geomatics Group (Environment Agency) as georeferenced tiles using their online database request function. The raw data was converted into a 'Raster Mosaic' using ArcGIS, allowing the total survey area to be visualised into a hillshade model, using the standard ArcGIS processing functions (Davis 2012, 12). As the DTM and hillshade visualisations hold base height data, the hillshade visualisation models were manipulated using ArcScene to create 3D surfaces (Crutchley and Crow 2010).


Cite this as: Whittaker, C. 2019 Breedon Hill, Leicestershire: new surveys and their implications, Internet Archaeology 52.

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