'Cut a huge slice' and 'sighting our grids'

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Gemini

New Member
Dutch, Belgium
Hi everyone,

I'm subtitling a BBC documentary about archaeologists investigating the battle of Bannockburn. One of them is standing in a field with a metal detector, and on the background you can see a white flag pole. The man says:
"What we've done is we've cut a huge slice across these fields, sighting our grids right the way up to the flag pole at the bore stone, where Bruce and his Scottish army were camped on the first day. But I think on the second day, that army came down here, and the battle was actually fought across this open ground."

Is it possible that he means with 'cut a huge slice' that they have skipped investigating the ground between the flag pole and where he is standing?

And what does he mean with 'sighting our grids'? Could it be 'in the direction of'?

Thank you very much in advance!
 
  • french4beth

    Senior Member
    US-English
    I believe that they have selected a large segment of land to investigated ("cut a slice" - like serving a pie). They probably set up grids to mark off different parcels to be researched, using the flag pole as a marker, which is the location of the encampment.

    So I think they included all of the land up to the flag pole, with the pole being used to set up their grids.

    Hope this helps!
     
    Gemini said:
    Hi everyone,

    I'm subtitling a BBC documentary about archaeologists investigating the battle of Bannockburn. One of them is standing in a field with a metal detector, and on the background you can see a white flag pole. The man says:
    "What we've done is we've cut a huge slice across these fields, sighting our grids right the way up to the flag pole at the bore stone, where Bruce and his Scottish army were camped on the first day. But I think on the second day, that army came down here, and the battle was actually fought across this open ground."

    Is it possible that he means with 'cut a huge slice' that they have skipped investigating the ground between the flag pole and where he is standing?

    And what does he mean with 'sighting our grids'? Could it be 'in the direction of'?

    Thank you very much in advance!

    Hi Gemini,

    French4Beth has given you a very good explanation.

    The archaeologists have indeed chosen a large area of the field to be investigated by 'cutting a huge slice' across it. They haven't literally "cut it" - rather measured out the area to be excavated. The remaining area, outside the "slice", will not be investigated unless they discover a feature within the "slice" (the wall of a building, a ditch, for example) which continues beyond the chosen boundaries of their "slice". In that case they will extend their "slice" by adding additional squares to their grids.

    When archaeologists "sight grids" they first of all mark out a baseline using two fixed points in the landscape. For example, in the case of this field, they may have chosen a particular tree growing on either side of it. Compass readings are taken of each tree so that when the final report is written up precise locations of finds may be quoted. The base line is marked out using bamboo canes or metal stakes. Then squares of equal size are marked out, normally using the triangulation method. Using Pythagoras' theorem (the square on the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle = the sum of the square on the two adjacent sides) they accurately measure out two right-angled triangles, with a common hypotenuse, thus forming a perfect square. This procedure continues right across the chosen area until the whole of it is marked out with a grid.

    In your example the archaeologists have chosen "the flag pole at the bore stone' as the limit of their grid. A base line will have been constructed there, too, so the grids will have been sighted between the two base lines.

    I'm sorry if this sounds terribly complicated but I hope it helps you to understand.

    Here is an example of a grid on a site. And here is a "huge slice cut across a field' at a site where I actually worked.


    Regards,
    LRV
     
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