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Integrated geophysical investigations at a sacred Hittite Area in Central Anatolia, TurkeyNormal access

Authors: M.G. Drahor, M.A. Berge, C. Öztürk and B. Ortan
Issue: Vol 13, No 6, December 2015 pp. 523 - 543
DOI: 10.3997/1873-0604.2015037
Special Topic: Integrated Geophysical Investigations for Archaeology
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 5.6Mb )

In this paper, an integrated geophysical investigation of a sacred area in the archaeological site of Šapinuwa is presented. Šapinuwa was one of the important cities in the Hittite Empire. The archaeological site of Šapinuwa is located in the Çorum region of Central Anatolia, Turkey. The goal of the here presented integrative archaeological prospection investigation was to explore buried structures inside the so-called sacred Taşdöşem area (Taşdöşem means “the stone pavement”) by employing a number of different near-surface geophysical prospection methods. To this purpose, magnetic gradiometry, ground-penetrating radar, electrical resistivity tomography, seismic refraction tomography, and multi-channel analysis of surface wave tomography were applied in this specific area. Overall, the results of the individual geophysical investigations were superimposed in order to obtain more detailed and comprehensive integrative interpretations on the burials contained inside this sacred area. Electrical tomography depth slices revealed the presence of an important structure buried inside the Taşdöşem area. Surprisingly, the Vs velocity variations observed in the depth slices of the multi-channel analysis of surface wave tomography provided important information on the character of the burial structure. Additionally, seismic refraction tomography sections and depth slices confirmed the presence of the structures in the same locations. The result of the groundpenetrating radar investigation did not present sufficient certainty regarding the possible deeper burials, whereas the magnetic gradiometry survey gave some insight into near-surface structures. The combination of the employed geophysical prospection techniques was successfully able to characterize the structures that are assumed to have been buried within the Taşdöşem area. It is concluded that the integrated non-invasive geophysical archaeological prospection study conducted at Šapinuwa provides a good example on how to approach the investigation and documentation of sites similar to the Taşdöşem.

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