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Saints Talk: Professor Richard Bates Hidden Places - unlocking the past using geophysics

Development is delighted to invite you to the next instalment in our Saints Talk series from Professor Richard Bates.

In his talk, Professor Bates will present recent important discoveries made in archaeology using geophysical research in the UK and beyond.

From iconic world heritage sites such as Stonehenge and Kilwa Kisawani to relatively unknown locations around the world, Professor Bates has been using geophysical techniques over the last three decades to unravel the secrets of the past.

Professor Bates' interests in archaeology began in parallel with a career that started in the US working for a consulting geophysics firm conducting investigations on a range of problems from mining sites to ground water exploration and environmental contamination. From this early work it was clear that an interdisciplinary approach was necessary for solving archaeological problems. With colleagues, the use of geophysics has proved pivotal to discoveries such as the oldest time-reckoner in Europe at Crathes, Scotland, a 10,000 year old configuration of pits that could be used by early Mesolithic people to keep track of the seasons.

Geophysics was also the key to mapping Europe's largest Neolithic monument in the form of the pits of Durrington Walls and the discovery of lightning strikes at the centre of Calanais XI Stone Circle on the Outer Hebrides. But it is with the ultra-high-resolution geophysics that some of the most fascinating results have been gained together with the greatest insight into our ancestors. At a site on the east coast of England and at the ‘cradle of human evolution' in Tanzania, scanning has revealed hominid footprints at 900,000 years old (the oldest outside of Africa) and 3.6 million years old respectively.

His work is featured regularly on BBC, National Geographic, Discovery and the Travel Channel.

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