March 4, 2022

GPR Used in Christchurch Cemetery and Royal Burial Site

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Ground Penetrating Radar or GPR survey services have been used in Christchurch Cemetery and the Royal Burial site at Sutton Hoo to investigate underneath the surface. Reliable GPR surveyors make use of specialised equipment to create a visualisation of the things that may be buried deep underneath the ground. Since these services are completely non-destructive, this makes them ideal for archaeological surveys where everything needs to be preserved.

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    Last year, residents found out that they could no longer bury loved ones in the Christchurch Cemetery in Jumpers Road until new space was found. The decision came very suddenly, and the BCP council did not give out prior notice, leaving residents shocked by the news. However, ward councillors said that the suspension was only temporary until new space could be found.

    That did not sit well with residents, with some saying that they were not aware of the Bournemouth County Parish Council’s decision. Under normal circumstances, the public would have been notified, but the decision was immediate and abrupt.

    The incident is an issue for residents expecting to bury loved ones in the town where they grew up and lived for years. One anonymous resident said they believe there are available spaces in the cemetery and that sudden suspension could be worth looking into more.

    A BCP Council spokesperson said that the historical low availability of new grave spaces at the cemetery and the pre-purchasing of plots were the main reasons for the suspension. To ensure that they have exhausted all available space, a GPR survey service has been employed to check the whole cemetery.

    A GPR service is a non-invasive process of checking the composition of the ground. After the survey, organisers of the cemetery will know if other plots are available.

    Christchurch Cemetery has clarified that they are still open for full burials on previously pre-purchased graves, including children’s burials and burying cremated remains. However, they cannot offer new full coffin burial plots at the cemetery in the immediate future. Instead, they recommend checking the seven alternative cemeteries in the BCP area.

    According to Christchurch Commons ward councillors Vanessa Ricketts and Margaret Phipps, the closure is temporary, and they hope additional space will be found. She said that the GPR survey would look at how various areas transformed into grave space.

    Exciting GPR Investigation at Sutton Hoo

    Meanwhile, TV’s Time Team and archaeological experts also made use of GPR to find discoveries in an Anglo-Saxon royal burial site at Sutton Hoo. The team used GPR technology to discover what’s beneath the ground.

    The National Trust launched the project along with the Time Team to shed new light and discoveries at Sutton Hoo. They have used non-invasive geophysical surveys at the Royal Ground and employed magnetometry to survey a field close to another known historic cemetery.

    This collaboration was birthed when an Anglo-Saxon ship was discovered at Sutton Hoo in 1939. According to the archaeology and engagement manager at Sutton Hoo, Laura Howarth, the place is a landscape layered with many stories that stretch far back into centuries. While some of the stories are already known, the prospect of discovery for new ones is imminent.

    Haworth added that non-invasive technology would help paint a clearer picture of what’s underneath the ground. It would also tell them how different people used the landscape — all of that without causing damage.

    GPR has the potential to find archaeological features like building foundations, ploughed-out burial mounds, and field boundaries. This makes it exciting, and Time Team said they could not wait to see what they will discover.

    The radar technology they’ve used has also been employed on the Royal Burial Ground, which resulted in high-resolution images that gave light to an Anglo-Saxon commoners’ cemetery. The team also made use of photogrammetry, which extracts 3D information from photos. With the support of an Aerial Cam, they are able to bring the landscape to life with an interactive 3D digital model.

    It will be the first time a field known as Garden Field has been surveyed with the new technologies. Tim Taylor, creator and Series producer of Time Team, said they look forward to collaborating and partnering with the National Trust and being immersed in the Sutton Hoo story.

    GPR Uses

    Ground-penetrating radar technology can be used for both commercial and domestic use. It uses a fully non-destructive technology (NDT), which will not cause any damage to the surface being scanned. It is also cost-effective because it does away with the delay and damage from conventional surveying methods.

    Another advantage of GPR is that it is an efficient method of recovering information in a large area, and the results are reliable and accurate.

    It can be used for domestic uses to locate chimney flue, rebar, and underfloor heating pipes. These can also survey concrete floor slabs, as well as underground void detection. It can also locate buried obstructions, utilities, and archaeological finds.

    The technology is being used widely in the construction and archaeological industries. The new technology allows for a faster survey and better decisions made with minimal disturbance and lessens the overall costs and effort from guesswork or large and expensive equipment.

    Professional GPR Surveyors

    Whether you want to renovate a recently acquired home or want to see what’s underneath a historic location, utilising GPR technology will prove to be a move that will save you time, effort, and money.

    At KB GPR Surveys, you can employ professional GPR surveyors who use the latest equipment to give you accurate and reliable data of what’s beneath the surface. We have years of experience, and the team we have come from various backgrounds.

    We employ different systems developed through years of experience working in various industries. We offer our services in the UK and around the world.

    If you’re interested in what we have to offer, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d be happy to provide you with a quote on the average cost of GPR survey services for your project. To learn more about us and what we do, head over to kbgprsurveys.co.uk today.

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