Newsletter No. 187: September 1986                                     Edited by: Christine Arnott

This is the time of year when plans for the forthcoming autumn and winter seasons have be considered. HADAS has a busy programme ahead and we hope you will all enjoy and take part in it. Below are listed some of the opportunities available in London that have recently come to our notice, plus current information from HADAS.

 West Heath Digging continues until the end of September on the Mesolithic site and this is our final year for excavation. Please ring Margaret Maher - 907 0333 or Myfanwy Stewart - 447 3025 if you can come and support them, the site is open six days a week (excepting Saturdays).

Burnt Oak Car Park Site. A date has now been agreed- 25th August for the commencement of our 2 months access to the site, which means we must try to open some trenches in September - so please let me know at once if you want to be a "digger!' or helper then I can keep you informed of the final details - Brian Wrigley 21 Woodcroft Avenue, NW7 2AH (tel. 959 5982).

That means there are two appeals for active participation in HADAS projects - please do come forward with offers of help in any capacity.



Evening Visit to Old Bailey - Mary O’Connell, Redecoration is in progress at the Old Bailey and it is regretted that this postponement clashes with the Exeter departure. Only very small party can be accepted so if you wish to participate please return the enclosed application form quickly.

Thurs: - Sun 18-21 September Exeter Weekend Ann and Alan Lawson We have no waiting list at all and a possible place to fill. If anyone would still like to join this trip, phone 203 0950.

Saturday 4th October Winchester "Domesday 900"'Exhibition The coach is full with a short waiting list. Please apply to Dorothy Newbury (203 0950) if you would like to be added to the list. There are usually a few cancellations.

Tuesday.7th October Lecture at Hendon Library. "Lost Christian Kingdoms of the Middle Nile Valley"- Dr. John Alexander          

Saturday 11th October Minimart at St. Mary's Church House - please send saleable items, offers of help, and above all, come and buy. (See attached leaflet) 455 2751 or 203 0950        

Saturday 18th October - 7th Dec HADAS Exhibition "One Man's Archaeology Church Farmhouse Museum, Hendon Ted Sammes

Offers of help to man our bookstall at the Exhibition on Saturdays and Sundays would be welcome. A couple of hours would help. Please ring Dorothy Newbury (203 0950)

Tuesday 4th November Lecture at Hendon Library. The Roman City Centre Project 1986 - Gustav Milne

FRIDAY 12TH DECEMBER     PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE AND VENUE Christmas Supper and Tour at the Gatehouse of the Priory of The Order of St John in Clerkenwell. Please reserve this date.


Extra-mural Studies, The City University, London EC1 VOHR Telephone 01-253 4399 ext. 3268/9.

Britain Before the Romans - an extra-mural course of 10 meetings weekly starting either 7.10.86 or 13.1.87 or 28.4.87 - all lectures begin at 6.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. £20 for each 10 meetings session. This is designed to give an outline of the archaeology of early Britain and put recent discoveries in their context. Lindow man, the Yorkshire chariot burials, Hambledon Hill ritual site and Danbury hillfort will be discussed.

The Ancient World - Three part session of 10 meetings each beginning 8.10.86 - £20 each 10 week series (£60 altogether) - a fascinating programme.

The Splendour of the Pharaohs - Two 10-week sessions beginning 7.10.87 and 13.1.87, each, at £24.

Victorian London - Two 10-week sessions beginning 7.10.86, each £20.

Aztecs, Maya and their predecessors - One 10-week session from 7.10.86 costing £20.    

The University of London, Department of Extra-mural Studies is offering a series of public lectures on Thursday evenings at 7.00 p.m. at the Institute of Archaeology from 2nd October 1986 - on British Archaeology in Egypt. The cost for the series is £16, individual tickets at the door £2. 

There is also a 24 meeting course beginning on 22nd September 1986 from, 6:30 to 8.30 p.m. on Middle American Archaeology, costing £39 (retired £19 - unwaged £5). A tour of Mexico might be arranged for students in the summer of 1987. Extra-mural Studies, 26 Russell Square, WC1B 5DO 

There is an extra-mural course at the H.G.S. Institute, NW11 for the Certificate in Field Archaeology covering Field Archaeology and then Post-Roman period in England, 24 meetings, beginning on 25th September 1986 from 2 to 4 Cost £46.

There is a non-diploma course on Wednesday evenings from 7.15­ to 9.15 p.m of 22 meetings on Aspects of Ancient Egypt costing £40. WEA - Barnet Branch - The Greeks and Romans - A. Rook, 10 a-m. to 12 p.m. 9.10.86 for 20 weeks. London Down the Ages - B. Fairfax, 9.30 - 11.30 a.m. 9.10.86 for 20 weeks. History of London, Robin Bishop, 8 - 10 p.m. 2.10.86 for 10 weeks.

WEA Golders Green Branch - The Archaeology of Roman Gaul.

Wed. 7.30 - 9.30 p.m- beginning 1.10.86. Tutor: Margaret Roxan: Cost £40 for 2 terms, concessionary £30.

In last month's newsletter, mention was made of the major new exhibition at the British Museum entitled "Archaeology in Britain". It has been warmly reviewed in the first number of the newsletter of the Prehistoric Society (to which many of our members belong) entitled "Past" and attention is directed to three new books from British Museum publications relating to it, "Archaeology in Britain Since 1945", edited by Ian Longworth and John Cherry (£12.50 or £9.50 at the exhibition); "The Bog Man and the Archaeology of People" by Don Brothwell (£5.95); and "Lindow Man: the Body in the Bog" edited by I.M. Stead, J.B. Bourke and D. Brothwell (£15), a very full account from 53 specialists of the excavation and subsequent research programme.

Time is running out if you want to see the major excavation being carried out by the Department of Urban Archaeology of the Museum of London at Leadenhall Market off. Gracechurch Street, in the City of London. We have a lecture booked on November 4th in connec­tion with this project, but it is very worthwhile to go along before the end of September when the area has to be handed over to the developers. At present there is good visibility from the viewing gallery off Leadenhall Street, where helpful illustrations and diagrams are displayed. At lunchtime, lectures are given. One of the interesting facts to come to light is the amount of development in the area before 70 A.D. and from the viewing platform one can look down on the little street and the outlines of buildings from that early phase.

A HADAS EXHIBITION including a bookstall of Society publications was mounted by Isobel McPherson and Christine Arnott at College

Farm Open Day on Sunday 3rd August. In spite of heavy rain consider­able interest was shown by those attending.

Ted Sammes has drawn attention to the fact that Reading Museum has a replica of the Bayeux Tapestry, made in Leek, Staffordshire 100 years ago 35 needleworkers produced the replica from drawings loaned by the South Kensington Museum. All the worsted thread used was dyed with permanent colour by Thomas Wardle, the husband of one of the needlewomen. Basingstoke Museum has been loaned the exhibit to mark the 900th anniversary of the Domesday Book, but unfortunately only to 2nd August 1986.

Ted has also sent in a report on the A.G.M. of the Council for British Archaeology on 14th July at the Society of Antiquaries. Many subjects were discussed, such as "where does the power of the C.B.A. rest, in the members, the council or the executive?" - the outline of a code of practice to be agreed between developers and archaeologists - meetings with treasure-hunting communities - and questionnaires were agreed should be sent out to discover what is really needed in the field of publications. Finally the new president, Philips Rhatz, paid tribute to the work of Tom Hassall during the past 3 years, and Tom Hassall wound up by paying tribute to the loyalty and hard work put in by the very small number of C.B.A. staff.   



On 26th July, a full coach from HADAS made a return trip to Sutton Hoo. Michael Weaver of the Sutton Hoo Society gave a splendid Celtic rendering as he recounted the original discoveries and pinpointed the site where the various magnificent finds occurred. We saw the area currently under excavation to determine the limits of the burial area and learnt that excavation is bringing new problems to solve with strange burials coming to light.               

As a variation from last time, we went on to visit Orford, now a sleepy haven for summer yachtsmen, although it was once a flourishing port on the sea. In the 12th century, Henry II began to build the castle that we can still visit today. In the 14th century it provided 3 ships and 62 men to take part in the siege of Calais. Gradually the estuary silted up, the bigger ships could no longer sail up to the quay, and the port declined, its importance lapsed, and it is now a sleepy haven. We enjoyed being shown round the "Town Hall" and the exhibition of the old weights and measures and standard yard, inclu­ding the old robes of the town worthies, from the days when it had local status as a "rotten borough". We were blessed with a lovely summer day and everyone voted it a most successful outing.



A full Angel coach. (note, I did not say a coach full of angels:) driven by the ever-cheerful Bob, had the pleasure of visiting the "Mary Rose" at Portsmouth and nearby Portchester Castle, for a repeat excursion on August 16th. It was pleasant to welcome a number of new faces on this trip who were friends of members. Thanks to Dorothy Newbury's meticulous planning, all enjoyed immensely a trouble-free sun-blessed outing of great interest. The first visit was graphically described in the June Newsletter, so I will only say that the second party was equally thrilled and excited. Water at 2°C was still being sprayed over the awe-inspiring hulk of Henry premier warship ­the first of its kind - at the rate of 6,000 gallops an-hour, creating 95% humidity in the air-locked protective bubble. To those making their second visit, it was plainly obvious that in the two hours a day, which is the maximum length of time that the water spray could be turned off, much creative restoration work has been carried out, mainly to the orlop deck to strengthen the structure. Some of the 3,000 timbers salvaged by teams of divers (including, on several occasions, the Royal Patron, Prince Charles) working at a depth of 40 ft. in the silt of the Solent, were now being put back by highly-skilled craftsmen. This task our two knowledgeable guides told us might take up to fifteen years to complete. To me one of the most exciting of the recent finds to be seen immersed in a vast tank of water, was the enormous wooden rudder which weighed no less than 3/4 of a ton. The cost of the specially made water tank was being borne by a British company (strangely enough, the one for which the writer used to work) making roofing tiles. This was typical of the sponsor­ship being offered to the project by industry and without which the Mary Rose Trust could not undertake the frighteningly expensive cost of restoration. Looking at the fortuitously "cut out" outline of the ship," it was hard to believe that her normal complement was 415 men, although on the day that she rolled over and sank as she was going into battle against the French in 1545, there were over 700 on board. Only a pitiful 37 were rescued from drowning. I shall remember for a long time. the simulated cries of the trapped men (purported to have been heard by King Henry a mile away on shore) in the excellent audio presentation of the event in the Exhibition Hall which also housed a panoply of fascinating artefacts recovered from the wreck. History, when treated in this way, is an emotionally stirring chronicle of human experience, and the accusation that it is as "dry as dust" can have no substance.

An hour or so to savour the evocative atmosphere was all too short, but the excellent salad or ploughman's lunch in the Victory Buffet was too good to be missed, proving to be excellent value for money.

Regretfully, after taking many pictures of H.M.S. "Victory" to go round inside entailed a two hour wait - and a brief visit to the Royal Naval Museum enriched by many relics recalling Lord Nelson and Trafalgar - it was time (to the arranged minutes) to return to the coach for the short journey to the historic town of Portchester. In the ancient village, around which has been built a town with a population of 25,000, we found the "chester" (castle) of Portum, the best preserved of the nine Roman Forts of the Saxon Shore. The warm sunshine encouraged us all to wander at leisure. Some of us climbed somewhat painfully to the top of the Norman Keep, which housed an exhibition of some interest, to be rewarded by a panoramic view of the Solent Estuary with the Dockyard cranes tilting at the azure sky. Nearer at hand, the well-preserved walls of the Third Century Fort, still mostly at their full majestic height, formed the backcloth for the sight and sound of a cricket match in progress on the greensward that once provided a camp for some hundreds of French prisoners-of-war. No less than three weddings took place in the Priory Church during the afternoon, and the sight of a coach drawn by two bays added to the "film set" atmosphere. At the conclusion of the final wedding of the day, we were invited to sample a traditional HADAS tea kindly prepared in the Church annexe by the Assitant Curator of the Castle We were then taken unexpectedly on a fascinating guided tour of the Church by one of the Churchwardens. His knowledge, wit and eloquence, captivated us all. We saw and marveled at the finely embellished Norman Font, the upper section of which is intricately carved out of a solid block of Caen limestone. On the plain ashlar stone walls of the Church (restored by the command of both Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Anne after long periods of neglect) were hung two versions of the Royal Arms.

Other outstanding features included oak sixteenth-century altar rails and bench ends, while in the belfry one of the bells, which we heard rung for the weddings, dated from 1589 and bore the forbidding inscription "Obey God and Prince"! The Aumbry in the North Transept was the subject of an instant quiz in which readers may like to join. The Aumbry looked like a wall safe to the modern eye, but what was its original purpose? There was no mistaking the purpose of the recessed block of stone, now standing near the altar rails, which was found under the tiled floor of the nave. It was undoubtedly the coffin of a Roman child, thus encouraging the undocumented belief that the Norman Priory Church was on the site of a much earlier building.

Sadly, after a walk back to the coach round the impressive circumference of the Saxon Fort, it was time to leave the still sunlit scene and journey back swiftly along the motorways to Hendon. Our journey was enlivened by a raffle, with prizes miraculously conjured up by Dorothy Newbury and organised by Sheila Woodward that ensured that this memorable trip should not prove a drain on the Society's funds.


THE PREHISTORIC SOCIETY’S SUMMER CONFERENCE - THE PEAK DISTRICT  Sheila Woodward:- a ‘native' of Derbyshire sends this  account

The Peak District has plenty to offer the prehistorian. On our first day we visited the famous Creswell Crags, type-site of the Palaeolithic Creswellian culture. The caves, now generally closed to the public to prevent further erosion of the valuable deposits, were fortunately open to us - the three shown being very impressive.

In Robin Hood's Cave we were shown how uranium-thorium dating is being used to sort out the sequence of deposits spanning hundreds of thousands of years. In Pin Hole there is a current excavation perched on a cramped rocky ledge, one archaeologist works with tiny copper tools (no iron or steel - it upsets the dating), excavating one centimetre at a time, while a second archaeologist records. It is dark and damp and chilly, Nearby Dog Hole Fissure is, as its name implies., a mere crack, in the rocks, but it too has produced its quota of prehistoric evidence We listened enthralled as Dave Gilbertson recounted the story of "The Death of a Wolf' - a real detective tale: for £1.50 copies may be obtained from the Creswell Crags Visitors' Centre, Crags Road, Creswell, Nr. Worksop, Notts. This Centre is an imaginative enterprise, promoting enjoyment and understanding of the area, also housing archives and a reference collection. At the time of our visit they housed some splendid mammoth bones, only a few days previously unearthed at Kilton, near Worksop.

To those of us interested in the Mesolithic, Thorpe Common Rock shelter proved intriguing with its semi-circular limestone rubble wall built out from the rock overhand,

Henge monuments are also part of the Derbyshire scene; we visited Arbor Low, the most spectacular, and the similar but less impressive Bull Ring. Neolithic and Bronze Age cairns abound, and there was much tramping across heath and moorland to visit a good selection of them. Strangely whenever we arrived at a remote cairn or stone circle, up popped the excavator of the monument, like a rabbit from its burrow, to talk to us about it. Minninglow was especially memorable for its superb position, and on Stanton Moor the Nine Ladies Stone Circle has been much improved by the removal of its surrounding wall. On Big Moor, for all its wealth of cairns and funeral monuments, the most fascinating site is the Swine Sty Bronze Age settlement enclosure, excavated between 1967-77. It has well-preserved remains of a stone-built circular hut, and has also produced thousands of waste pieces from the manufacture of shale bracelets and rings - the earliest identified shale workshop in Britain.

The Iron Age was not neglected, nor the late Bronze Age, as we sought out hillforts: the unusual promontory fort of Markland Grips and the more conventional and magnificent forts of Castle Naze, Mam Tor and Carl Wark. Storm clouds threatened, but did not break as we clambered over defensive banks and ditches and admired the superb views from the summits.

We had ample opportunity to study finds from many of the sites when we visited Buxton and Sheffield Museums, both of which mounted special displays for our benefit. We also spent a most interesting afternoon in the laboratories of the Department of Archaeology at Sheffield University. We talked to the researches and peered down microscopes at tree-rings and snail shells, seeds and grains of sand and pollen, and marvelled at the scientific information available to the archaeologist.

The social side of the Conference was not neglected. Apart from the Conference Dinner on the last evening, we seemed to attend innumer­able receptions given by many kind hosts. We shall not easily forget the sumptuous buffet lunch at Sheffield Town Hall nor the majestic toastmaster, immaculate to the tips of his snow-white gloves, who kindly overlooked our rather scruffy appearance as he announced each of us in stentorian tones to the Lord Mayor and his Lady. The Derbyshire Archaeological Society gave a reception for us at the home of its president - and as he is the Duke of Devonshire! - Chatsworth House. The Duke, sporting a rather dashing Brigade of Guards boater, welcomed us with great affability, commenting modestly that the house and gardens were looking their best. The reception was held on the terrace.  We did full justice to the delicious refreshments, the roses were glorious, and it was a perfect July evening. For the rest of the trip sentences tended to begin... "As I said to the Duke" .. Or "As the Duke said to me ..."

Our final day was mainly devoted to a seminar, preceded by a visit to Buxton's current excavation at Lismore Fields. Begun last year prior to a housing development across the line of a supposed Roman road, the dig has revealed no Roman evidence at all, but extensive evidence of late Mesolithic and early Neolithic settlement. A Mesolithic flint-knapping area, confined by a semi-circular slot that may have held upright timbers and 2 substantial rectangular Neolithic structures have so far been found. The site is obviously of consider­able importance, but further excavation is endangered by lack of funds. It was a most satisfying, enjoyable and informative conference with splendid organisation from Ken Smith, the local secretary.

In response to our appeals for contributions from members, we have received the following:


No, it has not been written yet, but it might be one day. Having lived in Edgware all my life, it was not unnatural for me to become aware of my surroundings and of course various "questions" started forming in my mind. Why were these houses-different to those on the other side of the road? Why does the road stop here? And so on and' so forth.

Well, I have been "at it" for three and a half years slowly unearthing the odd fact here and there. Very early on a few basic questions had to be answered. What is it I am trying to discover? Which period in time am I interested in? Finally, a definition of the area geographically speaking.

For various reasons it was decided to concentrate on the parish of Edgware. Roughly speaking it is triangular in shape with its apex at the south. The left-hand side is the Edgware Road, the "top" side is the south side of Barnet Lane, and the right-hand side is Dean's Brook. As a slight digression I attempted to locate the boundary stones defin­ing the parish. Initially this meant much poring over many Ordnance Survey sheets, then going out to find them. On paper thirteen were discovered, and seven of them are still in situ including one which has never been officially recorded by the OS. The remainder have been removed over the passage of time. The ones which do exist have been sketched, dimensioned and a brief description of the location includ­ing an OS grid reference.

The period of interest is 1900 to 1939, purely arbitrary I realise in fact establishing ownerships of some land has taken me back to the early 1800's, so one has to be flexible in one's attitude and approach to research.

Finally and most importantly what is it that I am interested in the date when every road, house and shop was built and so to create a pic­ture of the growth of suburban development during the early part of this century. All planning applications are being catalogued and this information reveals the names of the builders and developers. As a by­product one also learns why roads were given the names that we know them by today.

Local rate books will also provide useful information, and here an example of the problem of researching Edgware comes to light for Edgware parish until April 1931 was part of Hendon Rural District Council, this administration was west of the Edgware Road and included Harrow-on-the-Hill, Pinner, Great Stanmore and Little Stanmore. Edgware was transferred to Hendon Urban District Council, which itself was granted municipal status in September 1932. It was only this year that the whereabouts of the Rural District Council's ratebooks was tracked down to the Greater London Record Office, who had possessed them for over twenty years, had not properly accessed them and had destroyed about a quarter of them because of their poor condition. Various records are therefore held by the London Boroughs of Barnet and Harrow, related Middlesex records are in the care of the Greater. London Record Office, and no doubt others may be lurking at the Public Record Office, Kew.

As well as primary sources of material, there is much evidence that can be gained from secondary sources. I am attempting to record the various "mentions" of Edgware in books of an architectural, historical or topographical nature; copy any contemporary illustration or photo­graph; record any maps, estate and sale plans. A small collection of 35mm transparencies (currently standing at 400) is my modest start at recording houses, shops, developments and demolition of buildings, street furniture and general scenes. This is an opportunity to ask HADAS members if they have any illustrations, photographs, deeds etc. Even personal recollections may provide a missing link. Three years ago the local newspaper featured an article about the old rectory in Edgware, and that plans of the building surveyed in 1925 prior to its demolition were donated by the surveyor, now retired. After a couple of letters a visit to Scunthorpe followed where we met and further facts came to light.

As everyone is aware, research is a painstakingly slow process. I am a mere newcomer and still consider myself to be rather "green". If anyone can provide information in the way I have requested or furnish me with material I may be unfamiliar with please do not hesitate to contact me by writing or telephoning at this address.

Jeremy Frankel, 83 Edgwarebury Lane, Edgware, Middx. HA8 8LZ 01-058 7709


Please check that you have paid your subscription so that you will be sure of receiving the special "25 Years of HADAS" edition of the Newsletter.


The Thames Water Authority has been carrying out some work in the Gospel Oak area of Hampstead Heath which might interest geologically-minded HADAS members. Gospel Oak – in case you don't know that district - is the southernmost tip of the Parliament Hill area of the Heath. It's only about 1½ miles as the crow flies, from our Mesolithic site at West Heath, though it may seem more when you are negotiating the car-cluttered streets of Hampstead.

Just north of Gospel Oak station, on the edge of the open space, is a swimming pool; north of that again the water board is busy laying 3 miles of tunnelling intended to take some of the strain off an elderly sewer system. The work involves digging 40ft deep shafts into unweathered London clay, which was laid down some 55 million. years ago, in what was then a hot and humid environment, and has remained virtually untouched since.

It so happens that 150 years ago a Highgate CP, Dr Thomas Wetherell, a keen spare-time geologist, collected clay samples from a well that was being dug not far northeast of the present excavations. He noted that the clay contained minute fossilised molluscs - gasteropods and bivalves - which were later published in the Mineral Conchology of Great Britain. These included hitherto unknown species of foraminifera.

Samples from the 1986 diggings confirm and add to Dr Wetherell's findings. You can now see under an electron-microscope details, including new fossil groups, which were invisible to Dr Wetherell's more primitive equipment.

The new material is being studied at University College, where it is first dried, then soaked in a bleach solution and finally wet-sieved, leaving a residue of the tiny fossils for investigation. One study being undertaken is a comparison of the Gospel Oak samples with others taken from below the North Sea bed during oil exploration.

Condensed from an article in the Hampstead and Highgate Express of August 1st 1966. 


Wednesday Lectures

The 1986 - 87 season of Library Lectures begins in October, and includes several topics -which may be of interest to HADAS members.

"Inca Heritage" on Wednesday, 22nd October at East Finchley Library. Hilary Bradt, author and traveller, presents her experiences of treks into the Peruvian Andes. 

On Wednesday, 28th January at Hendon Library, Vivien Langston of the North Middlesex Family History Society, explains how to start tracing your ancestors in her talk "Tracing your Family History" 

The full programme of Wednesday Lectures is given in a leaflet which will be available from all libraries early in September. 


Kenwood and Golders Hill in 1894 and 1915 are featured in the next reprinted Ordnance Survey, map published by Alan Godfrey.

The maps should be available from Hendon and Golders Green libraries and the Archives towards the end of September (price £1. A more detailed report will be given in a later Newsletter. 


On Saturday August 23rd two HADAS members, Enid Hill and Sheila Woodward, attended the open afternoon at the current excavation at Maiden Castle. The visit was organised by Niall Sharples the Director and Andrew Lawson of the Trust for Wessex archaeology.

The excavations are intended to supplement the extensive evidence recovered by Sir Mortimer Wheeler, by using advanced archaeological techniques not available at that time. The 1985 results show a sequence of radiocarbon dates and mollusc columns from examination of the early prehistoric ditches.

This year they are concentrating on the Iron Age occupation of the hillfort, and have found several houses with well-preserved floor levels and large quantities of animal bones and carbonised grain. One gentleman present actually dug with Mortimer Wheeler and he related one amusing story of the time he was sitting by the Roman temple waiting for Mortimer Wheeler, when a workman brought him a gold Coin, followed by several more coins and a gold ring. All this happened while Mortimer Wheeler was struggling up the hillside, his car having been bogged down. He arrived too late to witness the excitement of the finds. 

BURNT OAK CAR  PARK SITE -- Postscript to announcement on page I. Victor Jones, Brian Wrigley, George Sweetland and Alan Lawson have started a resistivity survey, and by the time you read this Newsletter will have completed a generalised survey of the main accessible area. This is showing up some general patterns with occasional high or low resistance anomalies which may or may not be significant, but will be worth further detailed tests. At one point at least, a more detailed survey has shown a small patch of noticeably low resistance which just might be a pit. A few more like this should give us a suggestion where to open trial trenches.