New Tool Will Help Archaeologists "See" Beneath the Surface
In archaeology, geophysical surveying equipment, known as 'magnetometers', assist archaeologists in creating detailed mapping of sub-surface archaeological features. Thanks to continued generous support from Bartington Instruments Ltd of Witney, archaeology students in the Department for Continuing Education will now have an expanded ability to "see" beneath the surface.
Bartington Instruments has supplied a new dual array Grad 601 magnetometer. The term "dual array" refers to the fact that this instrument has two magnetic sensors. Magnetometers measure a magnetic field and its variations between two separated points, thus enabling us to create a 'picture' of what's going on beneath the soil's surface.
Past activity such as burning and soil disturbance creates anomalies in the earth's magnetic field which can be measured and mapped using magnetometers. They are the principal geophysical survey instrument used in Archaeology today. Many types of sites and features, ranging from prehistoric settlements, to Roman forts, to industrial sites can be detected with magnetometry.
"This is a superb, state-of-the-art electronic surveying instrument." said David Griffiths, Reader in Archaeology and Course director for the Masters in Applied Landscape Archaeology. "We have had a single sensor model for several years supplied on the same generous basis, which has provided an essential and much-used teaching and research facility in landscape archaeology, for DPhil and MSc students alike."
Bartington Instruments (www.bartington .com) are the leading makers and suppliers of magnetic geophysical survey equipment in the world. The late Mr Geoff Bartington, founder of the firm, was a great friend of the Department's Archaeology programmes, and one who followed the students and their work with great interest.
"It is wonderful news that Bartington's managing director, Mrs Tessa Evans, and her staff are keen to maintain the relationship between the company and our teaching programme. Such generosity on the part of Bartington is almost unbelievable in the middle of a recession", said Dr. Griffiths. "It's a great vote of confidence in us and our students."