PIGGY’S HOLLOW – GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY – MAY 2019 BY JO INSTONE-BREWER
Geophysical surveys allow archaeologists to look into the ground at natural and manufactured features without excavating. Excavation is a destructive process, so many different types of research are conducted before a single spade touches the soil. On top this generates good practice. Some sites are protected from unnecessary surveying to prevent the indiscriminate use of data and to ensure all investigation is being done for an important reason, i.e. exploring an aspect that may change the accepted nature of the site.
Jo Instone-Brewer conducted this survey with permission from Historic England and Leicester City Council, as this site is a scheduled monument – (1010686 moated site with Fishponds in England).
She used resistivity (electric impulses to find obstructions such as walls) and magnetometry (measuring the difference between the magnetism of the air and the ground) to search for building foundations, post holes, destruction debris and evidence of burning.
The results mostly show large disturbances of the original building material on the site, most likely robbed out from local builders to create structures in Evington. There are a few off squares shapes all facing towards the church and a large collection of dense materials in the north possibly a remnant from the building’s destruction, or an example of repaired landscaping of the mound where it is closest to the moat’s surface. The large scar seen in the resistivity survey and the linear features in the magnetometry survey in the same location are good indicators of remaining building material/robber trenches, and if the badgers are anything to go by, there is still plenty of things to be found beneath the top soil. To summarise, if you have a suspiciously old stone in your garden wall or as your house’s corner stone, it might be from this site!
Below are some finds from Piggy’s Hollow.
- Faced granite building stone
- Roof slate with nail hole
- Wheel turned pottery – medieval 13thCentury
- River washed pebble from cobbled courtyard?
LIDAR (Light Detecting and Ranging) image of Evington showing Ridge and Furrow lines from medieval farming practices. This measures the time taken from laser to reach the ground and bounce back.
Resistivity Survey and Magnetometry Survey Results show:
Construction/destruction activity (in yellow) Badger activity (in blue) Probable modern features (in light brown). Possible post holes (in pink).