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Geophysical investigations at the Himera archaeological site, northern SicilyNormal access

Authors: P. Capizzi, P.L. Cosentino, G. Fiandaca, R. Martorana, P. Messina and S. Vassallo
Issue: Vol 5, No 6, December 2007 pp. 417 - 426
DOI: 10.3997/1873-0604.2007024
Special Topic: Archaeogeophysics
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 4.22Mb )

In this paper we present a geophysical survey that was carried out as a research activity during field trips to the Himera archaeological site, where relics of a large Greek settlement are still buried, effected by a joint group of archaeologists and geophysicists during an educational project. Two-dimensional (2D) resistivity and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys were performed to locate buried archaeological structures at this archaeological site. The results of the GPR surveys show some anomalies characterized by semi-hyperbolic shapes. In some restricted areas of the town, two grids of parallel GPR profiles were acquired while time- and depth-slices were calculated to identify the extension of the buried structures. In fact, the shapes of many anomalies recognized in the slices seem to describe the distribution of the relics (i.e. walls, roads, etc.). A 2D electrical resistivity profile showed clear anomalies, which were connected with wall-like relics. This was also obtained by using on-site calibration on partially uncovered structures, while the low background resistivity values were interpreted as representing river deposits having different moisture characteristics. Recommendations were also given to the archaeological site-excavators, following which some of the results were confirmed by subsequent archaeological excavations.

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