The observation and measurement of processes operating on hillslopes is not new. Many nineteenth-century geologists were well aware of the significance of processes in the development of the landscape, and a casual perusal of much of the early geological literature will reveal many careful observations made on processes. Actual laboratory and field measurements are not quite so common, but some examples do exist; the writings of Davison on soil and rock particle creep readily spring to mind in this context (Davison 1888, 1889). Laboratory and field techniques in slope studies therefore have their roots in the early days of geology. This good start was not maintained through the first half of the twentieth century due to the shift in emphasis towards cyclic models of hillslope geomorphology.