Skip to main content Accesibility Help
×
×
Home

Geophysical Surveys as Landscape Archaeology

  • Kenneth L. Kvamme (a1)
Abstract

Recent advances in technology and practice allow geophysical surveys in archaeology to produce maps of subsurface features over large areas and in potentially great detail. It is shown through a series of case studies from two regions in North America that archaeo-geophysical surveys can produce primary information suitable for the study of site content, structure and organization, for examining spatial patterns and relationships, and for directly confronting specific questions about a site and the past. Because large buried cultural landscapes can now be revealed, it is argued that an alternative perspective on regional or landscape archaeology may be possible because space can be viewed in terms of tens of hectares as opposed to the tens of square meters typical of archaeological excavations. Moreover, by placing focus on such buried features as dwellings, storage facilities, public structures, middens, fortifications, trails, or garden spaces that are not commonly revealed through most contemporary surface inspection methods, a richer view of archaeology, the past, and cultural landscapes can be achieved. Archaeo-geophysical surveys can also play an important role in Cultural Resource Management (CRM) contexts as feature discovery tools for focusing expensive excavations, thereby reducing the amount needed and lowering costs. Their utility is weighed against shovel test pits as a primitive and costly form of prospecting.

Resumen

La práctica y los recientes avances tecnológicos en el área de la arqueología han hecho posible, mediante el uso de inspecciones geofísicas, la producción de mapas que no sólo abarcan grandes extensionés de terreno, sino que también muestran, potencialmente en gran detalle, diversos aspectos del subsuelo. A través de una serie de estudios realizados en dos regiones de Norteamérica, se ha demostrado que las inspecciones arqueo-geofísicas pueden producir información primaria oportuna y de gran beneficio para el estudio de aspectos arqueológicos. Estos aspectos incluyen el contenido, la estructura y la organización de un sitio, así como los patrones y las relaciones espaciales de é ste. Estas inspecciones también ayudan a responder preguntas específicas acerca de un sitio arqueológico y de su pasado, ya que con la ayuda de esta tecnología pueden ser expuestas grandes extensiones de áreas culturales bajo suelo. Se afirma en este ensayo que una perspectiva diferente, en cuanto a la arqueología regional o panorámica, podría ser posible. Este nuevo enfoque proporciona una nueva alternativa debido a que el espacio de un sitio cultural puede ser examinado en decenas de hectáreas y no en decenas de metros cuadrados, típico de las excavaciones arqueoló gicas tradicionales. Además, al enfocarse en áreas bajo tierra que no son comúnmente reveladas por medio de los métodos de inspección de superficie contemporáneos (áreas de habitación y de almacenaje, estructuras públicas, fortificaciones, senderos, o zonas de desechos y áreas de hortalizas), se puede obtener una perspectiva arqueológica más amplia del pasado y de los paisajes culturales. Las inspecciones arqueo-geofísicas pueden también tener un papel importante en contextos de Administración de Recursos Culturales (CRM) como instrumento principal en la dirección de excavaciones costosas, minimizando así cantidades antes requeridas y reduciendo costos. La utilidad de estas inspecciones se contrapone a las excavaciones de muestra pequeña como una forma primitiva y costosa de exploración.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Ahler, S. A., and Kvamme, K. L. 2000 New Geophysical and Archaeological Investigations at Huff Village State Historic Site (32MO11), Morton County, North Dakota. Submitted to the State Historical Society of North Dakota. Copies available from the State Historical Society of North Dakota, Bismarck.
Avery, T. E., and Berlin, G. L. 1992 Fundamentals of Remote Sensing and Airphoto Interpretation. 5th ed. Macmillan, New York.
Bevan, B. W. 1983 Electromagnetics for Mapping Earth Features. Journal of Field Archaeology 10:4754.
Bevan, B. W. 1998 Geophysical Exploration for Archaeology: An Introduction to Geophysical Exploration. Midwest Archeological Center Special Report I. Lincoln, Nebraska.
Bevan, B. W. 2000 An Early Geophysical Survey at Williamsburg, USA. Archaeological Prospection 7:5158.
Bowers, A. W. 1950 Mandan Social and Ceremonial Organization. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Buteux, S., Gaffney, V., White, R., and van Leusen, M. 2000 Wroxeter Hinterland Project and Geophysical Survey at Wroxeter. Archaeological Prospection 7:6980.
Ciminale, M., and Loddo, M. 2001 Aspects of Magnetic Data Processing. Archaeological Prospection 8:239246.
Clark, A. 2000 Seeing Beneath the Soil: Prospection Methods in Archaeology. Reprinted. Routledge, London. Originally published 1990, B.T. Batsford Ltd., London.
Clay, R. B. 2001 Complementary Geophysical Survey Techniques: Why Two Ways are Always Better Than One. Southeastern Archaeology 20:3143.
Conyers, L. B., and Gaffney, C. 2000 Some Reflections on the Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting. Archaeological Prospection 7:145146.
Conyers, L. B., and Goodman, D. 1997 Ground-penetrating Radar: An Introduction for Archaeologists. Alta Mira Press, Walnut Creek, California.
Dalan, R. A. 1993 Issues of Scale in Archaeological Research. In Effects of Scale on Archaeological and Geoscientific Perspectives, edited by Stein, J. K. and Linse, A. R., pp. 6778. Geological Society of America Special Paper 283, Boulder, Colorado.
David, A. 1995 Geophysical Survey in Archaeological Field Evaluation. Ancient Monuments Laboratory, English Heritage Society, London.
Dealing, J. A., Hay, K. L., Baban, S. M. J., Hudleston, A. S., Wellington, E. M. H., and Loveland, P. J. 1996 Magnetic Susceptibility of Soil: An Evaluation of Conflicting Theories Using a National Data Set. Geophysical Journal International 127:728734.
De Vore, S. L. 1992 Training in Remote Sensing/Geophysical Techniques for Cultural Resource Management. Federal Archeology Report 5:20.
Dill, C. L. 1974 Report of the Architecture of Fort Clark: A Preliminary Statement Based on 1973-1974 Excavations. Submitted to the State Historical Society of North Dakota. Copies available from the State Historical Society of North Dakota, Bismarck.
Dunnell, R. C., and Dancey, W. S. 1983 The Siteless Survey: A Regional Scale Data Collection Strategy. In Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory, Vol. 6, edited by Schiffer, M. B., pp. 267287. Academic Press, New York.
Eighmy, J. L., and Sternberg, R. S. (editors) 1990 Archaeomagnetic Dating. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Fassbinder, J., Stanjek, H., and Vali, H. 1990 Occurrence of Magnetic Bacteria in Soil. Nature 343:161163.
Frohlich, B., and Lancaster, W. J. 1986 Electromagnetic Surveying in Current Middle East Archaeology: Application and Evaluation. Geophysics 51:14141425.
Frothingham, R. 1873 History of the Siege of Boston, and of the Battles of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill. 4th ed. Little, Brown, and Company, Boston.
Gaffney, C. 2001 Why are Geophysical Methods Used So Frequently in European Archaeology? Forum presentation at the 66th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, New Orleans.
Gaffney, C. F., and Gâter, J. A. 1999 Popularizing Archaeological Geophysics: The “Time Team” Experience on British Television. In Archaeological Prospection: Third International Conference on Archaeological Prospection, edited by Fassbinder, J. W. E. and Irlinger, W. E., p. 35. Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege, Munich.
Gaffney, C., Gater, J. A., Linford, P., Gaffney, V., and White, R. 2000 Large-scale Systematic Fluxgate Gradiometry at the Roman City of Wroxeter. Archaeological Prospection 7:8199.
Goodman, D., Nishimura, Y., and Rogers, J. D. 1995 GPR Time-Slices in Archaeological Prospection. Archaeological Prospection 2:8589.
Heimmer, D. H., and De Vore, S. L. 1995 Near-surface, High Resolution Geophysical Methods for Cultural Resource Management and Archaeological Investigations. United States Department of Interior, National Park Service, Rocky Mountain Regional Office, Denver, Colorado.
Heron, C. P., and Gaffney, C. F 1987 Archaeogeophysics and the Site: Ohm Sweet Ohm? In Pragmatic Archaeology: Theory in Crisis? edited by Gaffney, C. F. and Gaffney, V. L., pp. 7182. BAR British Series 167, Oxford.
Hesse, A., Barba, L., Link, K., and Ortiz, A. 1997 A Magnetic and Electrical Study of Archaeological Structures at Loma Alta, Michoacan, Mexico. Archaeological Prospection 4:5367.
Hunt, W. J. Jr. 2001 The Fort Clark Archeology Project, 2000-2001, Historical Investigations. Paper presented at the Plains Anthropological Conference, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Johnson, C. 1998 The Coalescent Tradition. In Archaeology on the Great Plains, edited by Wood, W. R., pp. 308344. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence.
Jumey, D. 2001 The Effectiveness of Survey Techniques in the Ozarks. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Arkansas Archeological Society, Hot Springs.
Kintigh, K.W. 1988 The Effectiveness of Subsurface Testing: A Simulation Approach. American Antiquity 53:686707.
Krakker, J. J., Shott, M. J., and Welch, P. D. 1983 Design and Evaluation of Shovel-test Sampling in Regional Archaeological Survey. Journal of Field Archaeology 10:469480.
Huelsenbeck, John P., and Bruce, Rannala 2001a Current Practices in Archaeogeophysics: Magnetics, Resistivity, Conductivity, and Ground-penetrating Radar. In Earth Sciences and Archaeology, edited by Goldberg, P., Holliday, V., and Ferring, R., pp. 353384. Kluwer/Plenum, New York.
Huelsenbeck, John P., and Bruce, Rannala 2001b Archaeological Prospection in Fortified Great Plains Villages: New Insights through Data Fusion, Visualization and Testing. In Archaeological Prospection: 4th International Conference on Archaeological Prospection, edited by Doneus, P. M., Eder-Hinterleitner, A., and Neubauer, W., pp. 141143. Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna.
Huelsenbeck, John P., and Bruce, Rannala 2001c Final Report of Geophysical Investigations Conducted at the Mandan/Arikara Village, Fort Clark State Historic Site (32ME2), 2000. Submitted to the PaleoCultural Research Group, Flagstaff, Arizona, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota. Copies available from the State Historical Society of North Dakota, Bismarck.
Huelsenbeck, John P., and Bruce, Rannala 2001d Final Report of Geophysical Investigations Conducted at Sylvester Manor, Shelter Island, NewYork, 2000. Submitted to the Andrew Fiske Memorial Center for Archaeological Research. Copies available from the Andrew Fiske Memorial Center for Archaeological Research. Department of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Kvamme, K. L. 2002 Final Report of Geophysical Investigations Conducted at the Fort Clark Trading Post, Fort Clark State Historic Site (32ME2), 2000-2001. Submitted to the PaleoCultura Research Group, Flagstaff, Arizona, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota. Copies available from the State Historical Society of North Dakota, Bismarck.
Leibs, S. 2000 A Discoverable Past Just Inches Away. UMass Boston 4:36.
Leslie, M. 2002 Database: What Lies Beneath. Science 297:1615.
McNeill, J.D. 1980 Electromagnetic Terrain Conductivity Measurements at Low Induction Numbers. Technical Note TN-6, Geonics Limited, Mississaugua, Ontario.
Malagodi, S., Orlando, L., Piro, S., and Rosso, F. 1996 Location of Archaeological Structures Using GPR Method: Three-Dimensional Data Acquisition. Archaeological Prospection 3:1523.
Marshall, A. 1999 Magnetic Prospection at High Resolution: Survey of Large Silo-pits in Iron Age Enclosures. Archaeological Prospection 6:1129.
Maximilian, Prince of Wied-Neuwied 1906 Travels in the Interior of North America. In Early Western Travels, 1748-1846, Vol. 24, edited by Thwaites, R. G.. Arthur P. Clark, Cleveland.
Mussett, A. E., and Khan, M. A. 2000 Looking into the Earth: An Introduction to Geological Geophysics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Noel, M. 1992 Multielectrode Resistivity Tomography for Imaging Archaeology. In Geoprospection in the Archaeological Landscape, edited by Spoerry, P., pp. 8999. Oxbow Monograph 18, Oxbow Books, Oxford.
Payne, A. 1996 The Use of Magnetic Prospection in the Exploration of Iron Age Hillfort Interiors in Southern England. Archaeological Prospection 3:163184.
Pendery, S. 1997 Remains of Fortification Found at Bunker Hill. The Broadside 1:12.
Piro, S., Mauriello, P., and Cammarano, F. 2000 Quantitative Integration of Geophysical Methods for Archaeological Prospection. Archaeological Prospection 7:203213.
Rossignol, J., and Wandsnider, L. (editors) 1992 Space, Time, and Archaeological Landscapes. Plenum Press, New York.
Schmidt, A. 2001 Geophysical Data in Archaeology: A Guide to Good Practice. Oxbow Books, Oxford.
Scollar, I. 1971 A Magnetometer Survey of the Colonia Ulpin Trajana Near Xanten, West Germany. Prospezioni Archeologiche 6:8392.
Scollar, I., Tabbagh, A., Hesse, A., and Herzog, I. 1990 Archaeological Prospection and Remote Sensing. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Shott, M. 1985 Shovel-test Sampling as a Site Discovery Technique: A Case Study from Michigan. Journal of Field Archaeology 12:457468.
Steinacher, T. L., and Toom, D. L. 1984 Archaeological Investigations at the Whistling Elk Site (39HU242), 1978-1979. In Archaeological Investigations within Federal Lands Located on the East Bank of the Lake Sharpe Project Area, South Dakota: Final Report, Vol. II, Appendix I, edited by Carl, Falk. Technical Report No. 83-04 submitted to the U.S. Army, Omaha District Corps of Engineers. Copies available from U.S. Army, Omaha District Corps of Engineers. Lincoln, Nebraska.
Sullivan, A.P. III (editor) 1998 Surface Archaeology. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.
Summers, G. D., Summers, M. E. F., Baturayoglu, N. Ö.Harmansah, and McIntosh, E. 1996 The Kerkenes Dag Survey: An Interim Report. Anatolian Studies 46:201234.
Szmanski, J. E., and Tsourlos, P. 1993 The Resistance Tomography Technique for Archaeology. Archeologia Polona 31:532.
Taft, R. 1953 Artists and Illustrators of the Old West, 1950-1900. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.
Toom, D. L., and Kvamme, K. L. 2002 The “Big House” at Whistling Elk Village (39HU242): Geophysical Findings and Archaeological Truths. Plains Anthropologist 47:516.
Walker, A. R. 2000 Multiplexed Resistivity Survey at the Roman Town of Wroxeter. Archaeological Prospection 7:119132.
Weymouth, J. W. 1986 Geophysical Methods of Archaeological Site Surveying. In Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory, Vol. 9, edited by Schiffer, M. B., pp. 311395. Academic Press, New York.
Weymouth, J. W., and Nickel, R. K. 1977 A Magnetometer Survey of the Knife River Indian Villages. Plains Anthropologist Memoir 22:104118.
Willey, R, and Emerson, T. E. 1993 The Osteology and Archaeology of the Crow Creek Massacre. Plains Anthropologist Memoir 27:227269. Wilson, D. R.
Willey, R, and Emerson, T. E. 2000 Air Photo Interpretation for Archaeologists. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, South Carolina.
Wood, W. R. 1967 An Interpretation of Mandan Culture History. River Basin Surveys Papers 39, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 198. Washington, D.C.
Wood, W. R. 1993 Integrating Ethnohistory and Archaeology at Fort Clark State Historic Site, North Dakota. American Antiquity 58:544559.
Wynn, J. C. 1986 A Review of Geophysical Methods Used in Archaeology. Geoarchaeology 1:245257.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
  • URL: /core/journals/american-antiquity
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed