Dowsing Archaeological Features;
An empirical study at Cressing Temple, Witham, Essex.

8. Using the rods.

7. A selection of rods made from wire coat-hangers and the tools required for making them;
a pair of strong wire cutters and a pair of pliers.

The following is the technique used by the author and Colin Peal and that demonstrated to the test group during the site test day. The rods (Figure. 7) are held lightly in a full fist with the thumbs on the outside of the fingers to prevent them from interfering with the movement of the rods. About one inch (25mm) of the handle is allowed above the fist to ensure free rotation. The arms are held out straight forward and parallel and the rods held parallel to each other and as horizontal as possible. (Figure. 8).

8. The author holding the rods in the 'ready' or 'search' position. That is, at arms length, parallel to each other and the ground. Watches, jewellery, telephones and clothing will not affect the response. Gloves may do. (Gill Hillman).

The dowser then walks forward at a slow pace concentrating on keeping the rods parallel and horizontal. The rods will move under their own accord when a feature is encountered. Care should be taken not to grip the rods harder to prevent their movement. On finding a reaction, the dowser should back up, shake the rods straight and proceed forward to check the reading. By doing this and side stepping one pace each time the extent of the anomaly can be traced. Some dowsers may find that the rods automatically correct themselves after passing over the anomaly and if this is the case the dowser should turn around and try to read the other edge.

For most people the reaction is lessened if the hands are held close to the body and this may be due to the dampening effect of ones personal body field. The grip on the rods can be tested by rotating the rods in the hands like a football rattle to see if the resistance is minimal. There is some belief that moistened hands give a better reaction, the moisture acting both as a lubricant and a conductor. (Trump, 1949). In this method there is no question of the dowser setting himself goals, asking questions or trying to determine dates or histories.

9. Likely reactions.

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Barry Hillman-Crouch. MSt PA, Dip FA, BSc, HND. Written 1999 Published on the web June 2005.