Page last updated at 12:39 GMT, Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Photos reveal Hadrian's history

Aerial picture Iron Age Hillfort
Aerial pictures revealed previously unrecorded historical sites

Archaeologists have uncovered 2,700 previously unrecorded historic features along the length of Hadrian's Wall by studying thousands of aerial pictures.

The English Heritage experts found ancient burial mounds, medieval sheep farms and 19th Century lead mines.

They were working from more than 30,500 pictures taken during the past 60 years as part of a push to map and interpret archaeological sites across England.

Hadrian's Wall, in northern England, is a World Heritage Site.

The English Heritage project to map the Roman frontier began in 2002 and covered a wide area on either side of the 73 mile (117km) length of the wall, from the Solway Plain in Cumbria to Newcastle in the east.

Features catalogued include an Iron Age hillfort near the village of Fourstones, Northumberland, the deserted medieval village of East Matfen, Tyne and Wear, and a World War II anti-aircraft gun battery near Cleadon, Tyneside.

David MacLeod, of English Heritage's Aerial Survey and Investigation team, said: "We need to remember that Hadrian's Wall is not an isolated monument set within a landscape devoid of any other history.

"This region saw a tremendous amount of activity before the Romans arrived and after they left, traces and memories of which remain today."

He added: "It will help us to understand and manage the rich heritage of human activity that has shaped this landscape, whether it is the remains of a Bronze Age farm or a 20th Century gun battery."

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