Near-Surface Geophysical Investigations at the Multicomponent Magnolia Valley Site (40RD314) in Rutherford County, Tennessee

Author(s): Tanya M. Peres; Timothy De Smet; Jesse W. Tune

Year: 2015


In May 2014 we collected magnetic gradiometry, frequency-domain electromagnetic-induction (EMI), and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data at the Magnolia Valley site (40RD314) in Rutherford County, Tennessee with the Middle Tennessee State University 2014 Field School, a component of the MTSU Rutherford County Archaeology Research Project (RCARP). We collected data using Geometrics G-858 cesium vapor magnetometer, GSSI’s Profiler EMP-400 multifrequency electromagnetic conductivity meter, and Sensor’s & Software’s pulseEKKO PRO GPR with 500 MHz antennas at a line spacing of 0.5 m and station spacing of 0.1, 0.25, and 0.025 m, respectively. The use of multiple methods was necessary to characterize feature type. Negative apparent conductivity paired with strong dipolar magnetic responses were indicative of historic metal artifacts. High magnetic susceptibility and strong magnetic gradient contrasts indicated probable Archaic pit and habitation features. A historic two track wagon road was identified approximately 25 cm below the surface with both GPR and magnetometry. Ground-truthing the results proved the efficacy of this multi-method survey strategy and resulted in the identification of a rock-lined earth oven, several large (over 1 m in diameter and 1 m in depth) pits, and a possible Archaic structure/living space footprint along with the historic two-track road and metal artifacts.

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Near-Surface Geophysical Investigations at the Multicomponent Magnolia Valley Site (40RD314) in Rutherford County, Tennessee. Timothy De Smet, Tanya M. Peres, Jesse W. Tune. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397452)

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min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;