To the great happiness of anyone interested in Landscape Archaeology, Historical England have just released a new free online archaeological resource – the Aerial Archaeology Mapping Explorer, available here.
This website plots a diverse set of archaeological surveys onto a map of England, allowing the user to explore the past within the areas they live or visit. Structures, ditches and banks are all recorded, covering a substantial chronological span. Sadly, but rather inevitably, there are areas not covered by the survey – archaeology in England is in short supply of money at the moment. Hopefully, this will change for the better in the future – the website for the map promises to add and update new areas as they are surveyed.
Coupled with the PAS database, the online Internet Archaeology Journal, and the Fitzwilliam Museum’s Coin Database (all of which can be accessed online for free at these links), this marks a substantial step forward in access to archaeology for those not associated with a higher education institution, and will hopefully lead to some fascinating new discoveries as the sheer mass of unexplored data becomes accessible to more people. Museums are wonderful resources, but now the public can be actively involved in the process of discovery itself.