Development of Magnetic Susceptibility Instrumentation and Applications

Author(s): Rinita Dalan

Year: 2015


A 1997 NCPTT grant to develop a prototype down-hole magnetic susceptibility instrument arose out of frustration with existing technology and a desire to expand archeological field studies of magnetic susceptibility. This instrument allowed high-resolution vertical investigations of susceptibility within a small diameter (ca. 2.5 cm) hole made with a push-tube corer. An NSF grant supported improvement of the prototype via robust laboratory and field testing, resulting in a final engineered product (the MS2H) in partnership with Bartington Instruments, and also established an archaeological soil magnetic laboratory to improve research and training. A second NSF grant extended equipment and software, allowing increased integration of field and laboratory geophysical studies. Two additional NCPTT grants addressed the last crucial step in the advancement of down-hole susceptibility technology, namely application within archaeological practice. The first advanced the instrument’s use in the detection of buried archaeological sites, and the second focused on the identification of unmarked graves. Due to its broad applicability, use of magnetic susceptibility technology has steadily grown. Integrating down-hole and laboratory techniques with surface geophysical surveys has produced a more mature magnetic susceptibility method that is much more widely employed than it was in 1997.

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Cite this Record

Development of Magnetic Susceptibility Instrumentation and Applications. Rinita Dalan. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396858)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;