Geophysics

Over the past decade geophysical techniques such as magnetometry, electromagnetic induction, ground penetrating radar and direct current resistivity have become frequently recognised as useful, non-invasive tools for the detection of archaeological material and objects, including burials, based on their ability to quickly image the subsurface by measuring various physical properties (for further detail on these techniques see Bevan 1991, Buck 2003, Conyers 2006, France et al. 1992). They are regularly utilised as part of archaeological and heritage based management surveys and are particularly ideal for burial sites due to the strong cultural stigma surrounding the disturbance of human remains and the generally ineffective nature of alternative non-destructive methods. In addition to the location of graves, geophysical data can also outline areas devoid of burials, which can help facilitate repatriation, contribute to knowledge about community history and help guide site redevelopment.

Archaeometry has experience applying geophysical techniques to a range of diverse topics including heat retainer hearths (Moffat et al. 2008), rock art, repatriation of skeletal remains (Wallis et al. 2008), rock shelter deposits (Wallis et al. 2009), shell middens, human burials (Moffat et al. 2010, Bladon et al. 2011, Marshallsay et al. 2012), pottery accumulations (David et al. 2008, Moffat et al. 2011) and buried watercraft (David et al. 2009). Additionally, he has conducted geophysical research on a range of historical and maritime sites including the Orroral Valley Satellite Tracking Station, Marbel Hill Historic Site (2013), littoral shipwrecks (Moffat and Raupp 2008), shipwreck shelter huts (McKinnon et al. 2007), ship construction sites (Dappert and Moffat 2007) Macassan sites (McKinnon et al. 2013).

Ian has experience applying the following geophysical techniques:

  • Ground Penetrating Radar (Mala X3M, Nogginplus, PulseEkko, Sir-3000)
  • Electromagnetic Induction (GEM-2, EM31, EM38, CMD-4)
  • Marine and Land Magnetometer (G-856, G-858, G-866, FM256)
  • Magnetic Susceptibility (MS2)
  • Direct Current Resistivity/Induced Polarisation (Sting/Swift, Supersting, FlashRES-UNIVERSAL)
  • Gamma Spectroscopy
  • Sub-Bottom Profiler (Benthos Chirp)
  • Down-hole Geophysical Equipment

About Us

Archaeometry is made up of multi skilled archaeological science professionals with extensive commercial and academic experience around the world.

Our Services

We provide specialised technical services in the fields of Geophysics, Geochemistry, Geoarchaeology, Spatial Science and Archaeology to assist our clients in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Management.

Academic Work

As well as undertaking commercial projects Archaeometry is very active in academia with our staff frequently publishing research and undertaking teaching.

Latest Articles on Our Blog


A Year at IMS-FORTH

I’m very happy to have joined the team within the Laboratory of Geophysical-Remote Sensing and Archaeoenvironment at the Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas for a year as a postdoctoral fellow.  While I will miss life in Australia I am delighted to be in Crete and very excited to work with […]

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Causes of ground-penetrating radar reflections in sediments

This PhD thesis by Remke Leander van Dam submitted to VU Amsterdam in 2001 is an excellent discussion of the role of water, iron oxides and organic matter in generating GPR reflectors in shallow sediments.

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FlashRES-UNIVERSAL from ZZ Resistivity Imaging

I’ve just been introduced to the FlashRES-UNIVERSAL resistivity imaging system designed and produced by ZZ Resistivity Imaging in Adelaide. I’m very impressed with the equipment which is compact, very easy to use and obviously designed with the field worker.

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On the Road, Flinders Ranges, South Australia

On the Road, Flinders Ranges, South Australia

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PAPing in Mapoon

Dr Chet Walker from Archaeo-Geophysical Associates and William Busch from Mapoon Land and Sea doing a pole aerial photography survey of the Mapoon Mission Cemetery.

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