2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM

Investigation into Archaeological Prospecting Techniques

LYNNE, Douglas S.1, HILDEBRANT, Jason R.1 and SERPA, Laura2, (1)Geological Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, 500 West University, El Paso, TX 79968, (2)Geology and Geophysics, University of Texas at El Paso, 500 W. University Ave. Geological Sciences, El Paso, TX 79968, dslynne@miners.utep.edu

The Three Rivers Petroglyph archaeological site has been studied periodically since the 1970s and is known to contain pithouses, storage pits, hearths and burials ranging in age from the Archaic Period (6000 to 2000 years before present) to the Historic Period (350 to 50 years before present). Subsurface conditions at the site consist of desert alluvial fan deposits with accumulation of caliche within the soil profile. The primary focus of our geophysical research is the use of thermal infrared imaging to identify shallow archeological features. Magnetometry and ground penetrating radar are used to aid in the interpretation of the infrared image data. Current work consists of a ground magnetic survey with a 50 cm grid spacing and GPR profiles in an approximately 150m by 60m area. Preliminary results indicate there are additional archaeological features located in the surveyed area. Our geophysical research focuses on a region near on-going archeological excavations because those excavations will provide a test of the geophysical findings. Thus, we will find out which geophysical techniques provide the most useful information for this type of archeological investigation.