Understanding environmental impact is crucial to sustainability and community quality of life.

South Sebastopol Archaeology and Historic Landscape Re-evaluation

2 Methodology

2.1 The techniques are those of landscape archaeology which depend a great deal on field observation backed up by map and other documentary analysis. I used the 1881 First-edition 25-inch Ordnance Survey as my base map and onto film overlays I drew the conclusions of my field observations and made notes where necessary. I was also able to use the Tithe Apportionment survey of 1842 for the parish of Llanfrechfa Upper, although this actually assisted very little. I moved in a circuit around the threatened landscape keeping largely to footpaths and other publicly accessible ground. In only one or two instances was I not able to make a reasonably close examination of features. After this, I analysed my findings by identifying a variety of types and phases of adaptation and change. The purpose is to reveal and then remove from the map the later features so that the elements of an earlier landscape may emerge. This is known as retroactive analysis.

‘By following a hedge or a stream we may see things which can give clues to the sorts of features that might have once have existed …’

2.2 I should also note that I did not restrict my observations and analysis simply to the land inside the boundary of the new development. It is essential in understanding and attempting to reconstruct past landscapes that we try to place them in their context and look to see where critical elements may continue beyond our immediate area of concern. By following a hedge or a stream we may see things which can give clues to the sorts of features that might have once have existed, but have been destroyed in the main area. The wider view also provides a critical insight into the essential topography, ‘the lie of the land’: i.e. how the spaces of slope, drainage, vegetation, soil, rock, field layout, tracks, roads and houses all came together. Here the trick is to try and think as the man or woman of the past might have done and put together their local world as they might have seen and experienced it in their daily lives.