Field Walking

Child bagging finds Field walking is just as it sounds. It is a type of archaeological survey where the archaeologist walks over a field to try and pick up clues. It is the easiest type of survey to do.

The field is divided up in to strips or squares. These are marked onto a map (called a base map) and each square or strip is given its own unique number or letter. A team of people walk carefully and slowly up and down the squares or strips and if they find something, then a peg or other marker is put in to the ground to show the find spot where the find comes from.

The find must be carefully picked up and put in to a bag that is labelled with the site name, number or letter of the square or strip and what the find is. So, for example, a bag might be labelled like this:

Roger's Garden, West Mucking, Grid Ref. D3, 1st April 2010, Medieval Brooch.
Labelled Finds Bag

The most common finds from field walking are pottery, lithics, pieces of horse equipment and buckles. Why don't you have a go at fieldwalking? But do remember, before you start looking for clues, it is very important to tell your Mum or Dad where you are going and ask permission from whoever owns the land that you are looking on (so for example, ask your Gran if you are looking for objects in her garden or the farmer if you are looking for objects in a field).

Children fieldwalking in Cornwall

© The British Museum 2012 | Credits