Keys to the Past

Searching Maps

Our mapping system shows the location of archaeological features in County Durham and Northumberland as part of the Keys to the Past project. Behind the scenes the maps use 'GIS' (Geographic Information System) functionality to bring you specialist mapping features.

Accessing the Mapping System

Maps can be accessed from numerous links throughout the Keys to the Past website. Be aware that all map links open in a new browser window. To close the map window, click the 'Close Map' button, you will then return to the main Keys to the Past website. Please note that you will require Internet Explorer 5.0 or later, or Netscape 4.7 or later, in order to use the maps. Unfortunately our maps are not currently available to Apple Mac users.

Locating a Feature

Each archaeological feature from the Keys to the Past project can be displayed on a map, with its location indicated by an 'X' symbol. It is possible to get more information about any one feature (or group of features) by clicking on one of the 'X' symbols on the map.

Clicking on a Feature

Clicking on an individual feature will allow you to jump to further details held within the Keys to the Past records.

Where features are located very close together or several archaeological finds have been made in one place a group of 'X' symbols may overlap or lie on top of each other. In these cases simply click on the group of feature to reveal a detailed list to choose from.

Interacting with the Map

It is possible to interact with each map in the following ways:

  • Click on 'Zoom In' to view more detail at a smaller scale.
  • Click on 'Zoom Out' to view less detail at a greater scale.
  • Move around the map by clicking on either North, East, South or West on the compass.
  • View a historical map of an area (see instructions below).
  • Compare maps from different time periods (see instructions below).
  • Click on a feature of interest for further details (as detailed above).

Viewing and Comparing Historical Maps

Historical maps are available at a scale of (or below) 1:10,000. Click the 'Historical Maps' button to jump to the correct scale and enable our extra historical mapping features.

Various historical maps can be viewed by selecting an alternative time period from the drop down menu.

To compare maps from different time periods, simply click the 'Compare Maps' button to enable the split screen feature. You can then select different time periods for the top and bottom maps from their corresponding drop down menus.

Click the 'Single Map' button to exit the split screen feature.

Printing a Map

To print a map, click the 'Print Map' button, the map will appear in a new window. You can then print the map using your standard browser print options. For example: File>Print. To continue interacting with the maps simply close the map printing window.


Your comments and suggestions about our mapping system are welcomed. Please contact us via the contact page with your comments.