Local BBC Sites

Page last updated at 16:02 GMT, Monday, 6 September 2010 17:02 UK
Aerial archaeology reveals undiscovered settlements
Rings in field
One of the newly discovered settlements on the Holderness coast

A previously unknown Bronze Age monument has been found in countryside near Cottingham.

The find was one of many made by English Heritage, who used an aircraft to survey East Yorkshire over the summer.

Archaeologist Dave MacLeod made dozens of flights over the region when the prolonged dry weather meant hidden underground features became visible.

He said airborne archaeology is not a new phenomenon:

"Flying has been part of British archaeology for about 80 years or more. A lot of the archaeology that we know, the vast majority of it probably, has been discovered by people getting up in the air with cameras and just looking down and observing what they see in the fields."

Many of the discoveries were homesteads; small farming settlements, some dating back 3,000 years.

The dry spell at the start of the summer aided the search by displaying formerly hidden constructions.

Dave MacLeod
English Heritage archaeologist Dave MacLeod spent hours in the air over East Yorkshire

Crops growing on previously cultivated areas do better as the soil retains more moisture than the surrounding land.

The difference in plant growth shows the outlines of buried settlements, as Mr MacLeod explained:

"If you are lucky, and there at just the right time, the archaeology will be painted in dark green against a yellow ripening back ground."

The sites were all photographed and added to the National Monuments Record run by English Heritage.

The details of more promising sites are passed on to local archaeological teams for further investigations and possible excavation.

Bronze Age henge find
24 Aug 10 |  Beds Herts Bucks
Bronze Age finds at the airport
05 Apr 10 |  Nature & Outdoors
East Yorkshire archive opens
12 Feb 10 |  History


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific