Ground-Penetrating Radar Prospection for 17th Century Archaeological Sites

Author(s): Daniel Welch; Peter Leach

Year: 2020


This is an abstract from the session entitled "“Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution”: Identifying and Understanding Early Historic-Period House Sites" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Early colonial archaeological sites often exhibit low artifact densities during walkover or other early-phase field investigations. Furthermore, numerous feature classes may be present but not sampled by traditional testing strategies. These are detectable with geophysical surveys, and in this paper we highlight GPR case studies from 17th century sites in New England and the Mid Atlantic: 1) the search for the 1667 “turf fort” at the Jamestown Colony, Virginia; 2) prospection at the likely site of Fort Casimir (1650’s) in New Castle, DE; and 3) a landscape-scale investigation of the feature-rich Hollister Site (late 17th – early 18th century) in Glastonbury, Connecticut. These examples highlight the strengths of GPR for elucidating landscape-scale site layout, inferring potential intra-site landscape use, and focusing excavation efforts (or minimizing adverse impacts) on archaeological features. Also discussed are GPR limitations and potential issues to underscore the need for accessible and relevant training options.

Cite this Record

Ground-Penetrating Radar Prospection for 17th Century Archaeological Sites. Daniel Welch, Peter Leach. 2020 ( tDAR id: 456774)


17th century Geophysics GPR

Geographic Keywords
United States of America

Temporal Keywords
17th to 18th century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 567