Archaeo-Physics, LLC - geophysical survey and subsurface mapping

Case Study

Chaves-Hummingbird Pueblo

14th-15th century Ancestral Pueblo Village, New Mexico

See also: Southern Methodist University Chaves-Hummingbird website

Electrical resistance and magnetic field gradient surveys was performed By Dr. Lewis Somers of Archaeo-Physics at the Chaves-Hummingbird Ruin in central New Mexico. The survey was performed as part of an ongoing research program at the site by Southern Methodist University Two geophysical methods were used, a twin probe electrical resistivity survey and a magnetic field gradient survey. These surveys were successful in locating burned features, architectural units, and plaza features at this 13th to 15th century ancestral Pueblo site.

The image below shows the results of the electrical resistance survey. Resistance survey was successful in defining numerous features and intra-site patterning. Major architectural components of the site are outlined in the image to the right.

  interpretation of geophysical survey results


Ancestral pueblo archaeological features - resistance / resistivity map

Yellow contours indicate positive magnetic anomaliesRed contours indicate negative magnetic anomalies

The image below shows magnetic field gradient survey results overlaid as contours on an image map of resistance survey results. While resistance survey was more successful in defining architectural components (right), magnetic anomalies may represent thermo-remanent magnetization of archtectural components, suggesting burned features.

Ancestral pueblo archaeological features - electrical resistance / magnetic survey results

Yellow contours indicate positive magnetic anomalies
Red contours indicate negative magnetic anomalies

For a more information about the site, see SMU's Chaves-Hummingbird website.


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