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A new prespective on landscape archaeology through electromagnetic induction survey

Author(s): Philippe De Smedt ; Marc Van Meirvenne

Year: 2016

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Summary

While electromagnetic induction (EM) instruments have been used for archaeological prospection since the 1960's, until recently their implementation remained rare. Only during the past decade EM sensors, which allow capturing both magnetic and electrical properties of the subsurface, have become a more standard part of the archaeo-geophysical toolbox. Weighing heavily on applications in soil science, EM surveys are now proving their worth in discerning both human and natural variations. Through integrating archaeological and pedological information, EM prospection data provide a broad basis in understanding human-landscape interactions in different environments, from prehistory to modern times.

Here, we elaborate on how EM surveys can provide a robust foundation for studying past landscapes. Illustrated with studies from Late-Glacial palaeolandscape mapping to researching medieval wetland areas, over recent high-resolution and square mile-prospection datasets from Stonehenge (UK), we discuss the potential and pitfalls of EM for landscape archaeology.


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A new prespective on landscape archaeology through electromagnetic induction survey. Philippe De Smedt, Marc Van Meirvenne. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404901)


Keywords


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