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Geophysical and Related Techniques Applied to Archaeological Survey in the Mediterranean: A Review

Issue: Vol 13 No. 1 (2000) June 2000

Journal: Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology

Subject Areas: Ancient History Archaeology

DOI: 10.1558/jmea.v13i1.29907


During the last few years geophysical survey has developed considerably in terms of instrumentation and image processing. Together with remote sensing and GIS, it is becoming increasingly, if still slowly, integrated into archaeological investigations in the Mediterranean. This article reviews how, and with what success, geophysical techniques - and, to a lesser extent, geochemical methods, aerial/satellite remote sensing and GIS - have been applied to Mediterranean (especially Greek) archaeology, bearing in mind the environmental constraints of the region, and the significance, diversity and number of its ancient monuments. The application of all the main techniques of geophysical survey and some geochemical methods to a wide range of archaeological targets carried out over the last 40 years is discussed critically. Current developments in instrumentation and data processing are presented, and the next generation of geophysical work, which will have to meet challenges in relation to the protection and management of cultural resources, is also considered. In view of the need to create a common platform for the preservation of cultural heritage, it is argues that geophysical prospection techniques have to become an inseparable component of the archaeological investigation process.

Author: Apostolos Sarris, Richard Jones

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