Date of Award

12-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Geology

Major Professor

Gregory S. Baker

Committee Members

Devon Burr, Josh Emery

Abstract

Conventional archaeological excavation methods are, by nature, extremely invasive and result in study areas being irrevocably altered for the sake of research. For this reason, near-surface geophysical techniques have been incorporated into archaeological investigations to aid in determining the locations of buried features with minimal damage to the site. The objective of this research was to perform a geophysical survey at an archaeological site on the Akrotiri Peninsula in Cyprus to locate evidence of a Roman naval base and to develop an improved data management workflow that will improve the usefulness of geophysical data to archaeologists.

An on-site archaeologist determined three separate locations as areas of interest to be surveyed using both ground penetrating radar (GPR) and magnetic gradiometry. He then chose site boundaries based in part by the presence of natural obstacles (i.e., bushes, protruding rock, etc.) and by the lateral extent of surface remains. We collected data with transects running perpendicular to the predicted orientation of features. A total of fifty-two, 10m by 10m grids were surveyed using both geophysical techniques. The geophysics team processed data using ArcheoSurveyor (magnetic gradiometry) and EKKO Mapper (GPR) in order to create maps of the study sites in Google Earth for later use by archaeologists.

Using GPS data, we imported images into Google Earth as overlays and accurately georeferenced them. We added Placemarks where we interpreted subsurface features and waypoints for the features were exported as an XML file for further manipulation in Excel. Two of the sites yielded significant results, as many subsurface structures were detected in spite of little or no surface evidence.

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