‘Mine’s a Pint!’ Plastic glasses keep Archway Project on track

Metal probe held upright by plastic beer glass

The BACAS Geophysics Team had a tricky problem to solve on the Archway Project at the Roman Baths last week. They wanted to use resistance profiling to try to locate the route of a culvert and any other underground features, and this normally involves sticking up to 32 metal probes into the ground. Doing that on this World Heritage site would risk damaging the fragile archaeology that is, literally, just below the surface. But if the probes are not pushed in to a sufficient depth they just fall over.

John Oswin, BACAS geophys team leader, and Henry Lowe came up with a novel solution. The Oswin-Lowe technique balances resistance probes on the surface of the line to be examined using transparent inverted conical supports, otherwise known as plastic beer glasses with a hole in the bottom. John Oswin reports the results have been excellent!

Resistance profiling at the Archway Project

About the Archway Project

The Roman Baths is part-way through a major scheme – The Archway Project – to open up new areas of the site to visitors and to expand into buildings on the other side of York Street in Bath. As part of this project, BACAS is assisting with the excavations and interpretation of the archaeology of the site. BACAS is a partner of The Roman Baths on the archaeological component of the project and will work alongside the selected archaeological contractors, Cotswold Archaeology. The majority of the funding for the project has come from the Heritage Lottery Fund; however, substantial funding has also been provided by Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES) Council, The Clore-Duffield Foundation and The Garfield Weston Foundation, and fund-raising continues.