Monday, May 31, 2021

Non-invasive archeology at a stone site in Africa

 A non-invasive procedure allows obtaining archaeological information without excavating (


Curtiss Hoffman said...

I suspect that this method would have little utility at the stone structure sites we encounter in the Northeast. First of all, most of these sites are not located in the same places where people were living most of the time, so the presence of anthropogenic deposits like phosphorus will not be as high as at the African sites. Second, Tammy King, the Chemistry professor at BSU who has supervised my students' use of pXRF on soil samples from the Little League site, has emphasized to me that one should take the results of analysis with large quantities of the compound of the elements sodium and chlorine. There is a large possibility of error, especially with small samples.

Curtiss Hoffman said...

And third, most of the sites we examine have above-ground traces, if not the entire structure being above ground. We don't need XRF to locate them! But a more promising method for finding buried sites would be ground-penetrating radar (GPR), which bounces radar waves against the soil. Buried rocks will return a very different signature than consolidated soil horizons.