University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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Multi+ or Manifold Geophysical Prospection?
Apostolis Sarris

Last modified: 2011-12-13


Geophysical methods are used as a way of acquiring information related to the subsurface features of archaeological sites.  They have been successfully used to map subsurface architectural relics, recognize the limits of settlements and the plan of ancient cities, identify the various habitation phases and reconstruct the palaeo-environmental conditions of a region.  Even though the current tendency is towards the fast reconnaissance of the archaeological sites through multi-sensor, multi-electrode or multi-antenna systems, the particular approach is deficient in areas that need a much more thorough attention.  Even more, there are cases where the application of a single method may be inadequate to reveal the underlying archaeological features due to the type and conservation of the features and the surrounding geological or soil context within which they are located.

The detailed mapping through the use of multiple geophysical techniques is of increased value since their joint employment can offer a more integrated image of the subsurface. The amalgamation of multiple geophysical techniques can provide complementary evidence of the subsurface monuments, filling up the shortages that can be produced from a single survey approach and increasing the confidence level of the proposed targets.  In order to justify the employment of multiple geophysical techniques and how they address a variety of archaeological questions, the particular paper will draw examples from diverse case studies in relation to the archaeological issues involved and the way of contribution of each method, spanning from shallow depth magnetic and soil resistance mapping to medium depth prospection techniques such as ERT and seismic surveys. Furthermore, it will examine ways of processing various datasets, their correlation and how it may be possible to make the best possible usage of them in terms of the archaeological interpretation.


Geophysical, prospection, GIS