A student in an online course meant to teach the basics of archaeology has made a possible discovery while just examining images from his home computer. While DigVentures, an archaeological firm that runs the virtual class, has yet to begin excavation of the site, they say evidence suggests it could be a lost henge.The Guardian’s Esther Addley reports that student Chris Seddon happened upon the discovery while pouring over a Lidar image of the southern Derbeyshire countryside. The Lidar map, which uses laser imaging to produce a topographical map, revealed a small round area indented into the landscape, which Seddon brought to the class for a second opinion.
Addley spoke to the managing director of DigVentures, Lisa Westcott Wilkins, who explained that the theory that this could be another lost henge is supported by the location of the site, along with its situation in proximity to other known Neolithic sites. She cautioned that confirmation of this theory is impossible before excavation begins, but she stated confidently:
“We are very happy to say that this does indeed look like a ‘thing.’” She added, “Of course, we are all just itching to get out there and investigate.”
While it is unusual for a student with little experience to make such an unexpected find, sometimes all a map needs is an extra set of eyes and a curious mind to spot something important. With DigVentures’ enrollment up from the usual 80 students to a whopping 4,000, there’s no telling what so many eager eyes might see.