Investigations of magnetic susceptibility have been used to define sites, activity areas, features, buried soils, and cultural layers, build and correlate stratigraphic sequences, and understand site-formation and postdepositional processes.

Archaeologists are limited in these endeavors, however, by the instruments available for field studies of susceptibility. A prototype instrument developed for archaeological application logs volume magnetic susceptibility down a small-diameter (ca. 2.2 cm) core-hole made with a push-tube corer. Measurements can be made rapidly, approximately 10 times faster than collecting samples either by coring or from an exposed section, to depths of 1.6 m below the surface. The prototype logger was field-tested on a mid-Holocene stratigraphic section in southeastern North Dakota where it clearly distinguished various soils and sediments, including a buried occupation layer.

This research was made possible through Grant MT-2210-8-NC-28 from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT).

Tagged with →  
National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119