Archaeological geophysics is the use of remote, near-surface geophysical prospection to map potential buried archaeological resources. These methods are non-invasive, non-destructive, involve the collection and curation of no artifacts, and are fast and efficient. Archaeological geophysics can be helpful for site evaluations, as well as for guiding intensive excavations through targeting subsurface features.
Near surface geophysical prospection methods employed by New South Associates includes ground-penetrating radar (GPR), magnetic gradiometer, resistivity, and electromagnetic conductivity. Each method relies on different geophysical principles and is used to resolve different types of features on different types of sites. The site location, surrounding environment, and desired types of features to be resolved dictates which instrument or instruments are best suited. In many cases, multiple geophysical methods are recommended; in some cases, environmental factors, project goals, and economy limit mean that one method is best for a given project.
New South Associates has successfully used remote sensing to help address a range of archaeological issues. At archaeological sites, it can make it possible to pinpoint the locations of structures, rail lines, pit features, foundations, kilns, and other buried features, which allows our project archaeologists to complete projects with greater accuracy and efficiency. On cemeteries, remote sensing can be used as part of a larger cemetery restoration or relocation project to locate unmarked graves and accurately determine cemetery boundaries.