Archaeo-Physics, LLC - geophysical survey and subsurface mapping

Case Study

Shields Pueblo

Ancestral Pueblo Site, Southwestern Colorado

See also: Crow Canyon Archaeological Center Shields Pueblo website

We have completed two full seasons of research at Shields Pueblo, and almost two decades of research in the general vicinity. The 1997 remote sensing project covered six-hectares with magnetic and electrical resistance survey, making it one of the largest remote sensing surveys conducted in North America. It was also the first application of electrical resistance survey in the northern Southwest.

The surveys identified over 120 separate anomalies that were the size and shape of ancient subterranean buildings. Archaeological fieldwork during the 1998 field season tested 12 anomalies. These excavations confirmed that anomalies are associated with archaeological features, including one earth-walled pit structure dating to the late A.D. 700's; eight masonry-lined kivas dating to the late A.D. 1100's or 1200's; one masonry room that may have been used for corn grinding, one ash-filled midden, and one recently excavated pit.

Our research to date demonstrates that the remote sensing data can be used to precisely locate archaeological features. The research we are proposing will enhance the interpretation of the existing low-resolution data, provide a detailed comparison with the new, higher-resolution data, and clarify how these technologies can be applied to the preservation and management of archaeological resources in a cost-effective manner.

- Crow Canyon Archaeological Center -

Shields Pueblo electrical resistance survey

Above: Electrical resistance survey results from Shields Pueblo. In general, cultural features are associated with high resistance anomalies, shown in orange on this plot of the resistance data.
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