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Case Study

Mission San Antonio de Padua

Monterey County, California

San Antonio de Padua is an historic mission located in Monterey County, California. The mission was founded on July 14th, 1771 by the Spanish Franciscan friar, Junipero Serra. A geophysical investigation at the site was conducted by Archaeo-Physics, LLC during the spring of 2003. The investigation consisted of high sample density ground penetrating radar (GPR), electrical resistance, and magnetic field gradient surveys over portions of the archaeological remains of a large adobe communal housing structure that was originally built to provide housing for married Native American Salinan neophytes.

The following interactive graphic presents the results of the geophysical investigation in the form of a GPR animation, with additional buttons that enable the viewer to overlay resistance and magnetic survey data on top of the GPR imagery. The objective of presenting multi-method survey results in such a manner is to simplify the comparison and analysis of complex data sets.

Figure 1: Interactive graphic depicting GPR, magnetic field gradient, and electrical resistance survey results.

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The geophysical methods used during this investigation respond to contrasts in material properties between buried soils and archaeological features, with each individual method responding to contrast in a separate material property. At Mission San Antonio de Padua this resulted in each survey method providing a unique view of the buried archaeological remains. Together, the combined data have provided a more comprehensive view of the site than data from of any single method could have. The results of this investigation have once again demonstrated the importance of utilizing multiple geophysical methods during archaeological investigations.

Figure 2: A 3-D representation of GPR survey results.





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