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A Review of the Use of Geophysical Archaeological Prospection in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
2011 (English)In: Archaeological Prospection, ISSN 1075-2196, E-ISSN 1099-0763, Vol. 18, no 1, 43-56 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

While geophysical prospection for iron ores has a long history in Sweden the use of geophysical archaeological prospection has been limited compared to other countries. In this paper we discuss the likely reasons for this situation and present a brief history of geophysical prospection and in particular geophysical archaeological prospection in Sweden. The first use of different prospection methods, such as metal detection, earth resistance, magnetic, ground-penetrating radar, seismic and electro-magnetic prospection in Swedish archaeology are presented. The archaeological Iron Age sites of Uppåkra and Birka have been subject to relatively intensive prospection activity and are therefore mentioned separately. An overview of the current situation of geophysical archaeological prospection and related issues is given, and pitfalls and possibilities are discussed. The paper finishes with an outlook on possible future developments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 18, no 1, 43-56 p.
Keyword [en]
Geophysical prospection, review, history, Sweden, archaeological geophysics, Scandinavia
National Category
Archaeology Geophysics
Research subject
Archaeological Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-55100DOI: 10.1002/arp.401ISI: 000287711100004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-55100DiVA: diva2:401103
Available from: 2011-03-01 Created: 2011-03-01 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Remnant echoes of the past: Archaeological geophysical prospection in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Remnant echoes of the past: Archaeological geophysical prospection in Sweden
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis has been to investigate the benefits, pitfalls and possibilities of using geophysical methods in archaeological projects. This is exemplified by surveys carried out at archaeological sites in different geographical and chronological contexts. The thesis also aims at investigating the cause for the under-use of the methods in Swedish archaeology by looking at previously conducted surveys. The methods used during these surveys have been Ground-penetrating radar (GPR), magnetometer, slingram and a kappameter. The surveys in the mountain tundra region of Lapland show that magnetic susceptibility surveys is a valuable aid in discovering heaps of fire-cracked stones and when combined with magnetometry, also hearths. GPR and magnetometer surveys within the Migration Period ringfort Sandbyborg provided the spatial layout of the fort and indicated, along with results from recent excavations and metal detections, many similarities with the ringfort Eketorp II. The non-magnetic character of the sedimentary bedrock on Öland and Gotland is suitable for magnetometer surveys and the method is also highly appropriate for the detection of the remains of high-temperature crafts. GPR surveys at St. Mary’s Dominican convent in Sigtuna produced the spatial layout of the central cloister area. The investigations also show that the geology, pedology, land use and the character of commonly occurring prehistoric remains in Sweden, in certain circumstances and in certain areas, have restricted the possibility of successfully carrying out geophysical surveys. Care must therefore be taken to choose the right instrument for the survey and to tailor the sampling density of each geophysical survey, according to the character and size of the expected archaeological remains, in order to maximize their information return. To increase the use of geophysical methods in Sweden the educational opportunities, both for surveyors and professional archaeologists, need to improve.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Stockholm University, 2012. 116 p.
Series
Theses and papers in scientific archaeology, ISSN 1400-7835 ; 13
Keyword
Archaeological prospection, geophysical survey, Sweden, Ground-penetrating radar, magnetometry, Slingram, magnetic susceptibility, Neolithic, Migration period, Viking Age, Middle Ages, Öland, Gotland, Sigtuna, Lapland
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Archaeological Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79239 (URN)978-91-7447-549-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-10-12, sal G, Arrheniuslaboratorierna, Svante Arrhenius väg 20 C, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2012-09-20 Created: 2012-08-30 Last updated: 2012-09-26Bibliographically approved

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