The student will conduct a literature review of (1) the archaeologic regional aspects and hypotheses, (2) the recent geomorphological evolution (3) the bedrock and geological structure (4) the geophysical method and how it is used to interpret the underground structure and composition. Recent examples of ERT-assisted deposit modelling in archaeological target areas will be studied.
Specific target areas will be identified by the student in collaboration with Northumberland National Park and the supervisors. Preliminary 2D acquisition surveys will be conducted to help in the selection of the areas for detailed analysis.
High-resolution 3D surveys of the designed target areas will be conducted. This will be done in a series of trips to the Vallum, which is within a little more than one hour from Durham by car. Processing and modelling of the data will be performed using 3D inversion codes (pygimli, python).
The results will be interpreted, in light of regional geology and historical information. Inferences will be made on the historic geomorphology, how it influenced the Roman use of the landscape, and how it was modified by them.
Most of the the final year will be dedicated to organise and classify the acquired material, and start working on the dissemination of the findings. This includes presentation of the results at conferences and the preparation of drafts for publications to submit to journals or publish in book chapters and collections. The student will meet with possible stakeholders (Northumberland National Park, Historical England, National Trust) to illustrate the results and to help design further steps in the development/conservation of the target area. Eventual short additional trips to the field would be conducted between y2 and y3, if it the findings reveal some particular areas of interest where a detailed, high resolution survey within a smaller area may be of support. The writing of archaeological thesis typically takes up to one full year, as a consequence sufficient time in the third year will be made for adequate manuscript writing.
The additional six months will be mostly dedicated to the completion of the PhD writing and the dissemination of the material, including submission of publications.