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


9. Likely reactions.

9. The author detecting a buried structure or pit. The rods cross over to meet each other. The feature is always beneath the back foot. (Gill Hillman).

The test surveys show that everyone has a different reaction. In general the most common reaction is that of the crossed rods. In the case of the author crossed rods (Figure. 9) indicate a buried structure, pit or strong water point. Extremely strong water points such as artesian wells cause the rods to rotate completely. This has been found out by experience.

10. The author detecting a water-course. The rods point the direction of the flow. In this case it is an electric cable trench cut into the drainage layer and thus conducts the water as well as the electric cable. (Gill Hillman).

Other reactions are both the rods pointing the same way (Figure. 10) to indicate a watercourse and its direction of flow and this includes water in pipes, drains and aquifers. It can also indicate electric cable runs whose trenches are cut into the drainage layer and effectively act as part of the drainage system. Both the rods moving apart has been seen to indicate ancient back-filled and dried up ditches.

10. Recording the reactions.

The position of the anomalies causing the reactions are marked with garden canes, preferably painted white to allow relocation and clear photography if necessary. The position of the markers is plotted onto a suitable base map using triangulation with tapes and if available a theodolite (or builders level with protractor bezel). Where possible the nature of the readings are recorded and the nature of any flow lines indicated.

11. The site of Cressing Temple.

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