Fieldwalking

A process used to recover artefacts or identify archaeological earthworks, to find out the level of past human activity in an area. Fieldwalking is usually planned and carried out systematically, with rows of people working within a measured area. This allows features and finds to be recorded and located again in the future, especially if excavation is planned.

Fieldwalking is often done over areas of exposed soil and ploughed fields as this can expose artefacts before any crop starts to grow. However, fieldwalking also takes place in other areas of the landscape, such as open spaces and heathland, to look for earthworks that might be archaeological, such as ancient mounds and trackways.

Often not all of the chosen area is walked over but evenly spaced walkers sample certain areas. Artefacts and features are then mapped and the relative densities of artefacts within the site may help locate areas with archaeological potential.

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