One of the major issues in buried archeological sites especially if characterized by intense human activity, complex structures, and several constructive phases, is: to what depth conduct the excavation? The answer depends on a number of factors, among these one of the most important is the a priori and reliable knowledge of what the subsoil can preserve. To this end, geophysics (if used in strong synergy with archaeological research) can help in the planning of time, depth, and modes of excavation also when the physical characteristics of the remains and their matrix are not ideal for archaeo-geophysical applications. This is the case of a great part of the archaeological sites in Henan, the cradle of the most important cultures in China and the seat of several capitals for more than two millennia. There, the high depth of buried remains covered by alluvial deposits and the building materials, mainly made by rammed earth, did not favor the use of geophysics. In this paper, we present and discuss the GPR and ERT prospection we conducted in Kaifeng (Henan, China), nearby a gate of the city walls dated to the Northern Song Dynasty. The integration of GPR and ERT provided useful information for the identification and characterization of archaeological remains buried at different depths. Actually, each geophysical technique, GPR frequency (used for the data acquisition) as well as each way to analyze and visualize the results (from radargrams to time slice) only provided partial information of little use if alone. The integration of the diverse techniques, data processing and visualization enabled us to optimize the penetration capability, the resolution for the detection of archaeological features and their interpretation. Finally, the results obtained from the GPR and ERT surveys were correlated with archaeological stratigraphy, available nearby the investigated area. This enabled us to further improve the interpretation of results from GPR and ERT survey and also to date the anthropogenic layers from Qing to Yuan Dynasty.

Towards an Operational Use of Geophysics for Archaeology in Henan (China): Methodological Approach and Results in Kaifeng

Masini, N;Capozzoli, L;Romano, G;Lasaponara, R
2017

Abstract

One of the major issues in buried archeological sites especially if characterized by intense human activity, complex structures, and several constructive phases, is: to what depth conduct the excavation? The answer depends on a number of factors, among these one of the most important is the a priori and reliable knowledge of what the subsoil can preserve. To this end, geophysics (if used in strong synergy with archaeological research) can help in the planning of time, depth, and modes of excavation also when the physical characteristics of the remains and their matrix are not ideal for archaeo-geophysical applications. This is the case of a great part of the archaeological sites in Henan, the cradle of the most important cultures in China and the seat of several capitals for more than two millennia. There, the high depth of buried remains covered by alluvial deposits and the building materials, mainly made by rammed earth, did not favor the use of geophysics. In this paper, we present and discuss the GPR and ERT prospection we conducted in Kaifeng (Henan, China), nearby a gate of the city walls dated to the Northern Song Dynasty. The integration of GPR and ERT provided useful information for the identification and characterization of archaeological remains buried at different depths. Actually, each geophysical technique, GPR frequency (used for the data acquisition) as well as each way to analyze and visualize the results (from radargrams to time slice) only provided partial information of little use if alone. The integration of the diverse techniques, data processing and visualization enabled us to optimize the penetration capability, the resolution for the detection of archaeological features and their interpretation. Finally, the results obtained from the GPR and ERT surveys were correlated with archaeological stratigraphy, available nearby the investigated area. This enabled us to further improve the interpretation of results from GPR and ERT survey and also to date the anthropogenic layers from Qing to Yuan Dynasty.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11563/156650
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