Published On: Mon, May 4th, 2020

Archaeology breakthrough: Photographer finds ‘lost henge’ during online lockdown course | UK | News

Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19, excavations around the country have been shut, forcing archaeologists to be resourceful and use what they can at home to complete their studies. But, on the flip side, it has inspired a whole host of others who did not know they had a passion for archaeology to take up online courses to learn more. Among them is Chris Seddon, a wedding photographer whose jobs dried up with the current restrictions in place, leading him to spend some hours studying maps and images of the area close to his home in southern Derbyshire.

He was following the line of the River Trent when he noticed an unusual feature close to the village of Swarkestone.

Recalling the moment to the Guardian last week, he said: “I thought, what’s that? It looks a bit odd, and a bit round.”

Among other content of the area, Mr Seddon discovered a LIDAR image – a method for measuring distances by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflection with a sensor – that looked like a lost henge.

Inspired by his find, Mr Seddon joined an online course run by DigVentures and uploaded his find to the group to find out of anyone had any more information.

He was blown away when the response from coursemates and professional archaeologists were as stunned as his,

DigVentures managing director Lisa Wilkins said there is no way of knowing for sure what it is yet, but said other known Neolithic sites nearby, the style of the feature and its location support the hypothesis of a lost henge.

She told The Guardian: “We are very happy to say that this does indeed look like a ‘thing’.

“Of course, we are all just itching to get out there and investigate.”

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It is far from the only online course to have seen a rush in interest since lockdown began. 

The Council for British Archaeology and Lincoln University also launched Dig School last week.

It is an online programme of archaeology-themed workshops aimed at school children and families, devised by Carenza Lewis, professor for public engagement at the University of Lincoln.

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