Archaeological Applications of Near-Field Remote Sensing

Dr. Jon Cole Dr. Bradley Matson

Bradley Matson Professor of Physics

Goal: To develop and utilize novel non-intrusive imaging techniques for tell sites.

Team: Dr. Bradley Matson (Photon Kinetics), Dr. Jon Cole (Ameritus, Walla Walla College), Dr. Gerry Sandness (Ameritus, Battelle -- Pacific Northwest Laboratories).

Location: The Madaba Plains, Jordan.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could do non-destructive archaeology? Certainly, you need to get dirt under your fingernails, excavate artifacts, and date strata. Yet, can you use non-destructive methods to get an overall picture of an archaeological site? This presentation provides a tour of techniques which yield detailed, high-resolution (less than one meter) maps of archaeological sites. These techniques yield maps of medium-sized areas (20 x 20 meters) in a matter of days or months, provide the opportunity for three-dimensional maps, and generally give much better (resolution) maps than more traditional techniques. Key to these techniques is the analysis of the non-destructive data taken by either ground-penetrating radar or acoustic pulse diffraction. This lecture reviews the application of near-field diffraction theory to these data taken from tell sites on the Madaba Plains, Jordan and on Tel Rahov, Israel. This application produces two algorithms the results of which are presented as examples of the approach.

Utilization: We have and continue to develop methods of imaging multiple-layer tell sites with resolutions approaching 0.05 meters horizontally, 0.1 meters vertically. We utilize near-field sensing techniques such as ground-penetrating radar (GPR), acoustic diffraction, proton magnetometry, and electromagnetic induction. Our fieldable computing capabilities allow for preliminary results in the field.

Description: Many applications of remote sensing to archaeology are performed in the far-field regime. That is, the 'viewing distance' -- the distance between the detection system and the objects being imaged -- is much larger than the characteristic distance between objects (i.e., features). These include satellite imaging. We concentrate on near-field sensing where the characteristic distance between objects is approximately the same as the 'viewing distance'. Such applications include ground-penetrating radar and time-dependent acoustic diffraction on tell sites. Since pulse widths used by these sensing methods are on the order of the characteristic distance between scatterers (unexcavated archaeological structures), this theory must be applied in both the spacial and time domains. Application of the theory to the typified features of a site yield distribution functions which can be used to generate data reduction algorithms. Two such algorithms are used as examples of this approach.

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What are Inverse Filters? Learn more here from a class I'm designing.
How do I create these images? Learn more here from a class I'm designing.
A copy of the slides I used from my lastest talk.

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