SIGNS of ancient civilisations in North Yorkshire have been uncovered in amazing detail thanks to the dry early summer weather.

Hundreds of cropmark sites from Neolithic long barrows to Second World War military remains have been recorded from the air by English Heritage.

The sites photographed included one at Newton Kyme, near Tadcaster. Dating back nearly 2,000 years the rectangular Roman fort is known to have an earth and timber bastion, but aerial survey this summer revealed a stronger defence built in 290 AD covering seven hectares, with stone walls up to three metres thick and a ditch 15 metres wide.

Dave MacLeod, English Heritage’s senior investigator, based in York, said: “It’s hard to remember a better year. Cropmarks are always at their best in dry weather, but the last few summers have been a disappointment. This year we have taken full advantage of the conditions. We try to concentrate on areas that in an average year don’t produce much archaeology.

“Sorties to the Yorkshire Wolds and Vale of York, have all been very rewarding.”