BUTSER ANCIENT FARM ARCHIVE 1973-2007 Archivist Christine Shaw
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Artefact Movement Within the Plough Zone

After the direct record of excavation, the collection of surface material, particularly from field walking, is possibly one of the more obvious methods of getting site data. Much has been written and debated about the way in which such material represents the locus of human activity. This long term project involved the burying of artificial sherd-like materials in a field and following the movement of the pieces from year to year in an agricultural environment subject to both deep and shallow ploughing. Both vertical and lateral displacement of all the pieces located each year was recorded. The first experiment was carried out on Little Butser using Iron Age ploughs and is published in the paper given blow. A subsequent experiment was set up on a nearby farm using modern ploughing and cultivation techniques. Peter Reynolds made the final set of measurements towards the end of 2000. Preliminary results were published in the Butser Yearbooks but sadly this experiment remains unpublished elsewhere.


"Sherd Movement in the Ploughzone - Physical Database into Computer Simulation" Reynolds P J, in "Computer and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology" ed S P Q Rahtz 1988 CAA 88 BAR International Series 446 (ii)

“Sherd Movement in the Ploughzone - Results to 1989” Reynolds P J in Butser Ancient Farm Yearbook 1990.