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Contemporary Military Archaelogy, Landscapes, Research, Outreach & Blogging

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Fieldwork

Any and all fieldwork – this could be for my research or for fun outreach and engagement days. Research fieldwork will be cross-posted to the Research category as well.

#ResearchFriday: Sorting out my @FieldtripGB survey results

I continue to be very impressed with the ease of mucking about with FieldtripGB survey data. It has really sped up this second batch of fieldwork, and the automatic linking of my quick tablet photos with their spreadsheet records via Dropbox fills me with joy. (Disclosure: I’m  not affiliated with them and they’re not paying me anything! I just think it’s a neat free tool and am happy I found it).

Checking my results I’ve noticed that multiple duplicate records have been created, seemingly at random (and with unique system-generated IDs, just to make my life interesting).

I did find the program would hang a little when I tried to save records sometimes, and I had to tap ‘save’ again. I thought this was a result of the protective tablet case* I was using making the touch screen less sensitive – perhaps tapping again created a double save? I don’t think this happened 120 times though (I have 120 duplicates).

Anyway, it was easily resolved. I am currently working with Calc in LibreOffice to manage my spreadsheets (MS Office and I are having … time apart) and found this helpful tutorial to speed up the process of detecting and removing duplicates.

Now I have 120 fewer records to worry about categorising! (Phew).

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*Cases! I had one Otterbox impact case tucked inside a waterproof case I could wear round my neck in case I needed my hands free. I’m clumsy, OK?

Functional categories #picoftheday

The week thus far has been spent collating my fieldwork results and testing the categories I developed in my first fieldwork session back in Spring. The material culture in and of the stone tents contrasts interestingly with that in the active training contexts of the live firing area.

I am trying to use a grounded theory approach to conceptualise the development of my functional categories – this approach is used much more in sociology and social sciences but has an application here as my categories are developing from qualitative data such as conditions reports and my own observations.

At the moment however it is mostly about writing lists. Many, many lists of cross-referenced categories, comparing like with like and different with different, to see which categories and properties emerge.

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Fieldwork #PicOfTheDay: L43A1 blank cartridge

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RG L43A1 12 Surface find in recently ploughed field south of Herdlaw stone tent

The headstamp of this blank reads RG 12 L43A1.

RG refers to the producers, Radway Green, made in 2012.

It was exciting to find an artefact in a ploughed field – almost like a real archaeologist!

Fieldwork: Round 2 with #QField & @FieldtripGB

After a couple of intense office-based months (good grief, where has the time gone…?) I am back doing more fieldwork in Northumberland.

As the OTA is being used for active training again, this time I am checking out features in the dry training area. I still check in with Range Control every day for safety reasons. Although the scariest thing I’ve encountered today was a big patch of nettles there is still the risk of coming across some military debris so Range Control just like to know where I am and make sure I get off site safely at the end of the day, which I really appreciate!

This fieldwork session sees a new data capture workflow based on advice from the incomparable Ed H., GIS officer of the NNPA. (Thanks Ed!).

I have purchased a second-hand tablet and installed QField, the mobile Android app version of QGIS, and the Fieldtrip GB app for data capture. I’ve also installed ViewRanger but haven’t tried it out yet. Brief thoughts after a full day of use:

  • The GPS precision is suitable for what I want without having to purchase an external bluetooth GPS sensor. Though I may consider doing that in the near future anyway.
  • QField lags a bit if I have too many layers in my shapefile. I made a highly curated mini-GIS just for today’s study area and even then I had too many layers. But surprisingly the OS .tif files I’d included also worked in QField without being modified with Geopackage! (Still working my way through forum advice on .tif format etc).
  • FieldtripGB is handy for data capture though it doesn’t have as much of a zoom as I’d like. The Authoring Tool is intuitive and keeps my notes focussed, so is a bit better than a notebook there. Having integrated photography and annotation and coordinate capture all at once is very helpful. AFAIK (so far) there isn’t the option to go back and edit a point once captured (at least, tapping on the icon doesn’t seem to do anything) so that’s a bit frustrating.
  • I’m new to tablets and touchscreen typing but it’s about as quick as using pen and paper so it will save me time in the office after fieldwork is over.
  • The test: the coordinates export easily from the Authoring Tool into a .csv which I can then import into QGIS as a delimited text file. The coordinates are in Lat Lon so I had to change the projection but everything is showing up in the right place. There are also some duplicates in the download which I need to sort out – I don’t know why this has happened.
  • Battery life is definitely an issue. I was worried about this so bought two powerbanks (one was a promo from Routledge publishing at the SPMA conference this April) and a 12V in-car charger. In a full day I drained the fully-charged tablet and both powerbanks. I bought a second-hand smart phone as well with both apps installed as backup, but I hope not to have to use that (I need enough charge to call Range Control and inform them when I’m leaving site, and in case of emergencies). I have also tried installing a power-saving app but when using the GPS I guess there’s only so much it can do.

Anyway, that’s my ramblings after a day using QField and FieldtripGB.

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Success! A sample of toay’s data capture, projected properly and appearing where it should. Huzzah!

Fieldwork recap 9… #FindOfTheDay #archaeology #fieldwork

WARNING: I did my fieldwork on the OTA with the permission of Range Control, during the lambing break. The lambing break is now over and live firing has resumed. Do Not attempt to visit areas within the live firing area of the OTA. For information on how to safely visit the OTA and the byelaws you must follow, please start here.

Different types of para flares – canisters and spent flares and their chutes. Present in all survey areas. Small scale 20cm, large scale 50cm.

(c) Krissy Moore 2016 All Rights Reserved

I’m currently tracking down correct identification details for each of the artefacts I’m sharing as part of the Find Of The Day series, which will become part of my GIS database. For now I’m just sharing these pictures without further commentary, as a taste of the material culture of military training that I’ve encountered during my walkover survey.

Fieldwork recap 8… #FindOfTheDay #archaeology #fieldwork

WARNING: I did my fieldwork on the OTA with the permission of Range Control, during the lambing break. The lambing break is now over and live firing has resumed. Do Not attempt to visit areas within the live firing area of the OTA. For information on how to safely visit the OTA and the byelaws you must follow, please start here.

(c) Krissy Moore 2016 All Rights Reserved

“Archaeological area” signage and evidence of small arms round impact near Bushman’s Road

I’m currently tracking down correct identification details for each of the artefacts I’m sharing as part of the Find Of The Day series, which will become part of my GIS database. For now I’m just sharing these pictures without further commentary, as a taste of the material culture of military training that I’ve encountered during my walkover survey.

Fieldwork recap 7… #FindOfTheDay #fieldwork #archaeology #flashback

WARNING: I did my fieldwork on the OTA with the permission of Range Control, during the lambing break. The lambing break is now over and live firing has resumed. Do Not attempt to visit areas within the live firing area of the OTA. For information on how to safely visit the OTA and the byelaws you must follow, please start here.

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(c) Krissy Moore 2016 All Rights Reserved

Some more surface finds from the interior of the target railway…

I’m currently tracking down correct identification details for each of the artefacts I’m sharing as part of the Find Of The Day series, which will become part of my GIS database. For now I’m just sharing these pictures without further commentary, as a taste of the material culture of military training that I’ve encountered during my walkover survey.

Fieldwork recap 6: #archaeology #FindOfTheDay #fieldwork #flashback

WARNING: I did my fieldwork on the OTA with the permission of Range Control, during the lambing break. The lambing break is now over and live firing has resumed. Do Not attempt to visit areas within the live firing area of the OTA. For information on how to safely visit the OTA and the byelaws you must follow, please start here.

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(c) Krissy Moore 2016 all rights reserved

Yellow smoke signal grenade, scale 8cm

I’m currently tracking down correct identification details for each of the artefacts I’m sharing as part of the Find Of The Day series, which will become part of my GIS database. For now I’m just sharing these pictures without further commentary, as a taste of the material culture of military training that I’ve encountered during my walkover survey.

Fieldwork recap 5: #fieldwork #FindOfTheDay #archaeology

WARNING: I did my fieldwork on the OTA with the permission of Range Control, during the lambing break. The lambing break is now over and live firing has resumed. Do Not attempt to visit areas within the live firing area of the OTA. For information on how to safely visit the OTA and the byelaws you must follow, please start here.

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(c) Krissy Moore 2016 All Rights Reserved

Some personal items are also present.

I’m currently tracking down correct identification details for each of the artefacts I’m sharing as part of the Find Of The Day series, which will become part of my GIS database. For now I’m just sharing these pictures without further commentary, as a taste of the material culture of military training that I’ve encountered during my walkover survey.

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