Tape and offset survey, which can also be called ‘baseline offset’ survey, involves using an old-fashioned tape measure stretched across an area of the site to create a baseline. This is usually done on a North-South or East-West alignment. Another tape measure is then used to measure from archaeological features on the ground e.g. lumps and bumps, to this baseline. These measurements are taken at right angles and are then recorded on a sketch plan of the area or simply written down, ready to be drawn to scale on graph paper, in our case, in the warmth of the Dove Valley Centre.
All core volunteers received training in this type of survey on the first two days (10th & 11th March, 2016). There was also the opportunity for teachers to undertake this training too, so they could learn new skills and support their pupils/members of their group when they came later on in the survey. This took place on the afternoon of the 11th March 2016.
When schools and groups visited, they were shown what to do, and contributed to drawing sketch plans, the taking and recording of measurements in the field and drawing up plans to scale in the Dove Valley Centre.
Read more about what pupils of St Thomas More’s Catholic School and Buxton Community School got up to, as well as members of the Peak District Young Archaeologists’ Club when they visited and took part in the survey.