TRACES of history indelibly marked Dorset’s soil have formed part a fascinating exhibition of archaeological discoveries made from the sky.

As part of the Festival of Archaeology, Historic England have released a series of aerial photographs revealing evidence of Britain’s ancient history.

One such photograph, taken by chance in 2010 by a reconnaissance aircraft, reveals the outlines of a Roman camp in the Dorset Countryside.

Damian Grady, aerial reconnaissance manager who spotted the site, said: “We put these images together of our favourite sites and this one was one of mine.

“It’s an unexpected find in this part of the world.

“To find them, we plan to go to target areas where we haven’t found anything in a while.

“Sometimes, we’re actually transiting back from other places – like in this case.

“I was working my way home from Devon, and I saw what happened to be a Roman camp, the first one found in Dorset and only the fourth ever found in the South West.”

According to Historic England, Dorset’s Roman camp, found in Bradford Abbas, is a common find in some parts of Britain, such as along the lines of Hadrian’s Wall.

They question whether the presence of the fort could indicate an early military campaign against the indigenous British population.

These forts were temporary enclosures for Roman soldiers out on manoeuvres from more permanent bases.

From above, the tell-tale playing card shape appears in the photograph and gave away the location of the camp.

Strips of different coloured crops show the outline of the fort, spreading across different fields.

Speaking about the collection of aerial photographs as a whole, Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “Our aerial archaeologists continue to transform our knowledge of England's past from traces visible from the air.

“We identify and record the archaeology in our landscapes from cropmarks and soil marks this way.

“This not only supports archaeological research, but also gives us a better understanding of which parts of the land can be developed and which parts need further investigation because of what lies beneath.”

You can look at other photographs and find out more about the sites by visiting