GROT georadars help an archaeological expedition in Taman, Russia

July 29, 2013

Excavation

Excavation

The objective of the GPR research was to determine and locate the anomalies typical for objects of archaeological interest.

The works were ordered by the Eastern Bosporus Archaeological Expedition, one of the oldest academic expeditions to the South of Russia, of the Russian Academy of Sciences. That expedition conducts archaeological research of artifacts of Bosporus kingdom, founded in the 4 Century BC by Greek colonists, in the Krasnodar region.

Near the existing archaeological excavations near the village of Taman, Temryuksky district, Krasnodar region, six sites were selected for the GPR research.

The GPR technology is reasonably applicable in archeology, because the required anomalies are detectable through the examination of the soils structure and changes of electromagnetic parameters, such as conductivity, permittivity and resistivity of soils, at the boundaries between the sought-for objects and host rocks.

GROT georadar was used with 0.75 meters long antennas with the central frequency of 250 MHz. When scanning soils to depths of several meters during the initial scanning the step was about 0.5 meters, and during the thorough phase of the research it equaled 0.2 meters. These values were determined according to the properties of the required objects and increased measurements accuracy.

"The 7-th km" site (GPR research site №5) was chosen for test excavations, which proved the GPR data reliability.

When analyzing the GPR scanning data at the site №5, the specialists compared three detected anomalies locations with the discovered later artifacts: the hearth, jar shards and pottery shards zones.

 

Fig.1. Sheme of the archaeological objects location.

Fig.1. Sheme of the archaeological objects location.

The hearth zone

The hearth fragments zone is clearly visible in GROT program in all sections:

Fig. 2. Zone of the hearth at the intersection in GROT software.

Fig. 2. Zone of the hearth at the intersection in GROT software.

Fig.3. Zone of the hearth in X-Y plane.

Fig.3. Zone of the hearth in X-Y plane.

Fig.4. Zone of the hearth in Y-Z plane.

Fig.4. Zone of the hearth in Y-Z plane.

During test excavations at that site the baked clay fragments of the hearth were discovered. That confirmed the results of the GPR scanning. Figure 5 is a photograph of the excavation site with the hearth fragments.

Fig.5. General view of the hearth zone.

Fig.5. General view of the hearth zone.

jar and pottery shards zones

The jar and pottery shards zones anomalies are less brightly displayed in the program than the hearth zone anomaly.

Fig.6. Jar and pottery shards zones at a depth of 90 cm.

Fig.6. Jar and pottery shards zones at a depth of 90 cm.

Fig.7. Jar and pottery shards zones at a depth of 1 meter.

Fig.7. Jar and pottery shards zones at a depth of 1 meter.

Fig.8. Jar and pottery shards zones at a depth of 1.1 meters.

Fig.8. Jar and pottery shards zones at a depth of 1.1 meters.

During the excavations in those areas a ceramic jar and pottery shards were found:

Fig. 9. The jar.

Fig. 9. The jar.

Fig.10. General view of the jar zone.

Fig.10. General view of the jar zone.

Fig.11. View of the pottery shards zone.

Fig.11. View of the pottery shards zone.

Once again, the GPR scanning applicability in archeology was indisputably confirmed. The initial aim of this GPR study was detection of not small individual objects, but of soil structures, which could be related to the required artifacts locations. This goal determined the choice of antennas and the measurement step.

The hearth zone was the most clearly visible one, and there the fragments of the baked ceramic were subsequently found. That zone could be seen distinctly on the three-dimensional image and was easily located.

The jar shards zone was also easily localized as the artifact was in a good condition. The pottery shards zone was less clearly seen with the used equipment configuration, though the depth and other parameters of the zone were successfully determined.

Fig. 12. A feedback letter from the Eastern Bosporus Archaeological Expedition of the Russian Academy of Sciences: "We would like to specify that the parameters of GROT equipment are unique and allowed us to scan six sites quickly and get very accurate results in real time. That data reliability was proved in the course of further excavations."

Fig. 12. A feedback letter from the Eastern Bosporus Archaeological Expedition of the Russian Academy of Sciences: "We would like to specify that the parameters of GROT equipment are unique and allowed us to scan six sites quickly and get very accurate results in real time. That data reliability was proved in the course of further excavations."

We thank Eastern Bosporus Archaeological Expedition for cooperation and wish them many more interesting finds!