Liercourt-Erondelle (Somme), the so-called "Camp of Caesar". Aerial view in the winter of the very large earth levee interrupting the hillside. On the left-hand side, dark patches of damp reveal the location of filled-in Roman pits.
 
The same site in spring, taken from atop an earthen levee. Thanks to this slight elevation, we can partially make out the line of the Roman pits, previously spotted from the air, where the crops are greener. Liercourt-Erondelle (Somme).
 
The same site, after a storm in July. The crops, which grew too high over the filled-in pits, are now lying down. This crop "fall" is common over ancient protohistoric and Roman rubble. Liercourt-Erondelle (Somme).
Checking on the ground
Useful additional information
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Liercourt-Erondelle (Somme), the so-called -Camp of Caesar-. Aerial view in the winter of the very large earth levee interrupting the hillside. On the left-hand side, dark patches of damp reveal the location of filled-in Roman pits.

The same site in spring, taken from atop an earthen levee. Thanks to this slight elevation, we can partially make out the line of the Roman pits, previously spotted from the air, where the crops are greener. Liercourt-Erondelle (Somme).

The same site, after a storm in July. The crops, which grew too high over the filled-in pits, are now lying down. This crop
There is no such thing as aerial prospecting without checking the ground after carrying out a flyover. Aerial photography only reveals what can eventually be seen in the landscape. Aerial views and ground-level views are complementary and mutually enlightening.

What may seem complex and somewhat mysterious from the air can sometimes become simplicity itself on the ground. Anomalies in the landscape that provide clues to the past are often easily perceptible by the hiker, although he or she may be equipped with air cover and IGN maps (1:50,000 and 1:25,000 scale).

Following Roman roads is child's play, and it is pleasant to observe the unusual shapes of certain groves or lines of trees, which give away the location of defensive structures.


As for leveled-off archaeological remains, only very small structures can be easily discovered by walking through the fields — such as the small lines and strict geometric shapes that are extremely obvious.

Thus, the ancient circular ditches of Bronze Age funerary enclosures, even though filled in, preserve the dampness very well. They appear in a manner that is as fleeting as it is astonishingly multiform, thanks to dew, frost, unequal crop growth, after a storm, or to different rates of yellowing.

 


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