The United Kingdom has been in the midst of a heat wave for the past few weeks, and it doesn’t appear that they will get a reprieve anytime soon. But thanks to the heat, historic civilizations and landscapes have been revealing impressive and shocking relics.
“I’ve not seen conditions like this since I took over the archaeological flying at the Royal Commission in 1997,” aerial investigator Toby Driver from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) told Wales Online. “So much new archaeology is showing it is incredible.”
According to IFL Science, the unseasonably dry conditions persisting in Wales and elsewhere in the UK have rendered visible the ghostly foundations of countless former castles, forts, farms, mansions, and more – some of them dating back to the Iron Age and, others like emergent WWII air raid shelters, being much more recent structures.
“We have had periods of dry weather in the past, where crop marks and parching have exposed archaeology, but this current spell is really exceptional both in extent and longevity, and the last time it was to this extent was probably back in the 1970s,” senior archeologist Louise Barker from RCAHMW told Earther.
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“For parch marks to appear circumstances have to be just right, but it is not uncommon,” archaeologist Ian Barnes with the British National Trust told the Irish Independent. “The drought of 1976 is famous in British archaeology for revealing many previously unsuspected archaeological sites,” Barnes added. “2018 could be a similarly productive year for new discoveries, buoyed by the advent of drone technology, which allows much easier access to aerial photography.”
“There has been such an extreme drought we’ve got sites of national significance emerging,” he told Cambrian News. “It’s a race against time now… [Some] marks will probably only be there for another two-and-a-half weeks or so.”
Saying time is of the essence, scientists and archeologists will look for even more of the parch marks to appear over the next weeks until the dry and arid conditions abate.
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