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Large Fields - Big Data. Browsing the meadows of Seip Earthworks, Ohio, using multiple gradiometer arrays

Author(s): Rainer Komp

Year: 2016

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Surveyed and first published in 1848 by Squier and Davis, the mounds being excavated in early 20th century, Seip Earthworks today forms part of the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park near Chillicothe, Ohio. While the restored burial mounds are among the largest from the so-called Hopewell culture, the earthworks comprise further two miles of embankment walls forming big circles and a precise square with astronomical alignments, a typical geometric figure at a number of places, which Hopewell people constructed sometime between 100 B.C. – A.D. 500.

A Team of the German Archaeological Institute joined the National Park Service in spring 2015 to perform a magnetic survey for the first time on this site. A state-of-the-art vehicle-driven instrument comprising an array of 16 fluxgate probes was applied with great success. Nearly the complete conservation area, a total of 250 acres, has been investigated within two weeks. Special, newly developed software allowed for straightforward processing of huge amounts of data and integration to an GIS environment. The resulting images depict clear views of the underground features, consisting of archaeological as well as huge geological structures. Besides confirming the large geometric enclosures, more subtle features were detected and open new insights.

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Large Fields - Big Data. Browsing the meadows of Seip Earthworks, Ohio, using multiple gradiometer arrays. Rainer Komp. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404359)


Geographic Keywords
North America - Midwest

Spatial Coverage

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

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America