Efficient, large-scale archaeological prospection using a true three-dimensional ground-penetrating Radar Array system: Special Issue on Selected Papers from the 8th ISAP Conference and 7th Colloque GEOFCAN

Abstract

The Swedish UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site of the Birka and Hovgarden Iron Agesettlements is well suited for the testing of high-resolution archaeological prospection methods. In May 2006 ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and magnetometer test measurements were conducted at Birka, resulting in data of outstanding quality and new archaeological discoveries, but also demonstrating the need for increased spatial sampling regarding GPR prospection at complex Scandinavian sites. Therefore Birka was selected as a testing ground for a pilot study investigating the suitability of the novel multichannel GPR array system MIRA(MAL angstrom Imaging Radar Array)for efficient, large-scale GPR surveys with very dense spatial sampling. The study was conducted in May 2008 by MAL angstrom Geoscience AB in collaboration with the archaeological prospection unit of the Swedish National Heritage Board. The very high-resolution three-dimensional GPR pilot survey demonstrated that it is possible to survey 1ha and more per day with 8 cm cross-line spacing, mapping archaeological structures in unprecedented resolution, such as postholes of only 25 cm diameter. This paper describes the tested technology and methodology as well as the fieldwork and the results of the study.

Publication
Archaeological Prospection
Immo Trinks
Immo Trinks
Key Researcher
Alois Hinterleitner
Alois Hinterleitner
Senior Researcher