The following articles represent recent papers and publications by Archaeo-Physics staff members. In most cases, published versions of the articles are available for viewing, and are are presented with the publisher's permission. Prepress versions of articles may differ from peer-reviewed, published versions, which are available from the publishers.
Technical Briefs in Historical Archaeology 3: 25-38.
Although the non-invasive nature of geophysical survey recommends it for mapping unmarked graves, cemeteries can present a number of technical challenges that can limit its usefulness. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is often the only geophysical method considered for mapping historic cemeteries, but its success is very dependent on favorable site conditions. Other methods can be very successful when appropriately applied, and may be favored by settings unsuitable for GPR. Case studies illustrating GPR, electrical resistance, and magnetic surveys on historic Euro-American cemeteries are presented, with discussion of the capabilities and limitations of the methods and their appropriate application.
Proceedings of the 2006 Highway Geophysics - NDE conference, Saint Louis, Missouri, December 4-7 2006.
The Wyandotte County Cemetery, in suburban Kansas City, was in use from the mid 19th century up to 1973. It is thought to contain hundreds of recorded burials, as well as an unknown number for which no records are known. Of these, only two graves were marked, and the locations of other burials and the limits of the cemetery were not precisely known. Because of projected improvements to a roadway adjacent to the cemetery, a program of archaeological research was undertaken to define the limits of the cemetery integrating non-invasive geophysical techniques with conventional archaeological methods. The geophysical investigation consisted of electrical resistance and magnetic gradiometer surveys of portions of the cemetery. These were selected as the methods most suited to anticipated targets and local conditions, and both were successful in detecting patterning consistent with historic burial practices. In combination with archaeological testing, the geophysical survey results form the basis for an assessment of the limits of the cemetery. This investigation is illustrative of a range of issues related to geophysical assessment of cemeteries, from instrument selection and survey design to interpretation and testing.
Hennepin History, Vol. 64, No. 3. Fall 2005
Geoarchaeology: An International Journal, Vol. 20, No. 5, 449459 (2005)
Techniques of environmental magnetism were used to examine soil samples from a North American archaeological site in an effort to determine the source of magnetic field gradient anomalies. Testing revealed the source of one anomaly to be lightning-induced remanent magnetization (LIRM). This anomaly had initially been identified as a possible archaeological fea-ture, but excavations were unable to identify a visible source. LIRM appears to be a relatively common source of anomalous signal on archaeological sites and may often be misinterpreted in magnetic imagery. Thermoremanent magnetization (TRM) was also documented and quantified in soil from archaeological hearths at the site, as were changes in the ferrimagnetic mineral concentration and coercivity spectra resulting from high-temperature enhancement within the hearths.
Geoffrey Jones and Gene Munson
Plains Anthropologist, Vol. 50, No. 193, pp. 31-43, 2005
Temporary campsites and indeterminate artifact scatters are a perennial problem in archaeology. Features and artifacts are few, often scattered across an extensive area and representing considerable time depth. Meaningful and cost-effective data recovery is difficult using conventional methods. Integrated with more traditional methods, geophysical methods have proven to be an effective approach on many sites on the northwestern Great Plains. Hearths, stone rings, and other features can be detected and mapped, allowing researchers to target areas for excavation and understand intra-site patterning.
The American Surveyor, Vol. 2, No. 5. July-August 2005
Geoffrey Jones and David L. Maki
Archaeological Prospection, Volume 12, Issue 3, 2005. Pages 191-197
Recent studies of known lightning impacts and laboratory testing of samples from a suspected lightning-induced anomaly appearing in magnetic survey data allow us to characterize these formerly enigmatic responses. Remanent magnetization associated with the current path of a lightning discharge produces strong anomalies that can be recognized in magnetic survey data, and can be identified positively using laboratory methods.
L. Somers, N. Linford, W. Penn, A. David, L. Urry And
Archaeometry, Volume 47, Number 1, February 2005, pp. 159-173(15)
In memoriam Tony Clark
Sadly, this research marked the last field visit to the test site that the authors were able to share with their colleague Tony Clark. His enthusiasm, experience and encouragement inspired us to complete this project that, to many, must have appeared as grown men at play in a sand pit.
A new approach to subsurface exploration has been developed, based on fixed-frequency radio-wave illumination from a buried transmitter. Data are collected from a buried, continuous wave source with a phase-coherent surface-scanning receiver and recorded in a digital archive from which images of the archaeological features are subsequently produced. An important feature of this approach is the opportunity to separate the data collection and archive functions, which form an uncompromised record of the site, from the more subjective image formation function. This paper reports the results of a feasibility assessment programme and discusses the future application of the method to real archaeological sites.
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