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@RCAHMWales

As the drought across Wales continues, new and long-vanished archaeological sites continue to appear in fields of ripening crops and parched grassland. Attempting to survey and photograph all the different regions of Wales requires long hours in the cockpit for Toby and the pilot. All flights start at Haverfordwest Airport in Pembrokeshire with stopovers made for fuel at Caernarfon, Welshpool or even Gloucester airports to extend sorties to the corners of Wales.

Parts of north Wales are exceptionally dry, yielding wide-spreading cropmarks of Bronze Age barrows and prehistoric settlements across the Llyn Peninsula. A newly discovered early medieval cemetery of square barrows seen in south Gwynedd is a very rare monument type for Wales.

In south Wales early crops of wheat are nearly fully ripened meaning archaeological marks seen a week ago have nearly vanished. Elsewhere later crops still have a couple of weeks to ripen but are already showing ‘green on green’ cropmarks of prehistoric settlements. There was a surprise in the Vale of Glamorgan where severe drought at a known prehistoric settlement showed new cropmarks of a Roman villa within its modified ramparts; we know of Roman villas built within prehistoric settlements elsewhere at Whitton Lodge and Trelissey but this is a new example.

Dr Toby Driver, Senior Aerial Investigator, said; ‘I’ve not seen conditions like this since I took over the archaeological flying at the Royal Commission in 1997. So much new archaeology is showing it is incredible; the urgent work in the air now will lead to months of research in the office in the winter months to map and record all the sites which have been seen, and reveal their true significance’
Click here to search Coflein for cropmarks in Wales

1 – Desert-like colours along the Menai Strait near Caernarfon Airport, Gwynedd (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

1 – Desert-like colours along the Menai Strait near Caernarfon Airport, Gwynedd (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

2 – Cropmarks of a large Bronze Age barrow cemetery on the Llyn Peninsula, Gwynedd (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

2 – Cropmarks of a large Bronze Age barrow cemetery on the Llyn Peninsula, Gwynedd (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

3 – Parchmarks of Roman buildings showing at Caerhun Roman fort in the Conwy Valley (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

3 – Parchmarks of Roman buildings showing at Caerhun Roman fort in the Conwy Valley (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

â–¶ http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/95640/details/canoviumkanovium-roman-military-settlement-caerhun

4 – Extensive cropmarks of prehistoric enclosures in parched grassland on the Llyn Peninsula (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

4 – Extensive cropmarks of prehistoric enclosures in parched grassland on the Llyn Peninsula (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

5 – Faint but unmistakable cropmarks of newly-discovered early medieval square barrows, south Gwynedd (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

5 – Faint but unmistakable cropmarks of newly-discovered early medieval square barrows, south Gwynedd (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

6 – The parched landscape of Bardsey Island (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

6 – The parched landscape of Bardsey Island (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

â–¶ http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/402783/details/bardsey-islandynys-enlli

7 – Cropmarks of a large prehistoric enclosure in the Vale of Glamorgan, with the faint footings of a probable Roman villa within (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

7 – Cropmarks of a large prehistoric enclosure in the Vale of Glamorgan, with the faint footings of a probable Roman villa within (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

8 – An Iron Age farmstead near Whitland in Carmarthenshire (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

8 – An Iron Age farmstead near Whitland in Carmarthenshire (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

9 – A newly-discovered Iron Age farmstead in coastal Ceredigion (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

9 – A newly-discovered Iron Age farmstead in coastal Ceredigion (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

10 – Stopping for fuel and lunch at Caernarfon Airport in the FlyWales 4-seater Cessna aircraft (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

10 – Stopping for fuel and lunch at Caernarfon Airport in the FlyWales 4-seater Cessna aircraft (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

In pictures: A Collection of 28 Fascinating Drawings of Historic Monuments

July 11, 2018