Geophysical Techniques Applied in Archaeology

  • Gad El-Qady
  • Mohamed Metwaly
  • Mahmut Göktuğ Drahor
Part of the Natural Science in Archaeology book series (ARCHAEOLOGY)


With the increased demand to facilitate the archaeological work either in well-known archaeological sites or the crude sites, geophysical methods plays an important role. The Geophysical methods have been used since 1946 with increasing frequency for archaeological investigations and currently the branch of archaeogeophysics is widely applied. The wide varieties of geophysical methods applied in archaeological work relies principally upon existing reasonable contrast in physical properties between the buried archaeological feature and the surrounding subsoil. Understanding the archaeological properties of the physical contrasts, in terms of density, thermal conductivity, electrical resistance, magnetic or dielectric properties, remains fundamental issues of choosing and applying the discipline geophysical techniques. In this regard, we tried to introduce a brief outline for the common and applicable techniques in archaeological investigations. The physical principles and field instrumentation involved for the acquisition of data with each method are considered, as well as some common results from the worldwide case studies. Generally, the archeogeophysical survey results can be used to guide excavation and to give archaeologists insight into the patterning of non-excavated parts of the site as well as it is often used where preservation of the sensitive sites is the aim rather than excavation.


Archaeogeophysics Non-invasive techniques Physical contrast Excavation Archaeological remains 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gad El-Qady
    • 1
  • Mohamed Metwaly
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mahmut Göktuğ Drahor
    • 3
  1. 1.National Research Institute of Astronomy and GeophysicsHelen, CairoEgypt
  2. 2.Department of ArchaeologyCollege of Tourism and Archaeology, King Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Department of Geophysical Engineering, Engineering FacultyDokuz Eylül UniversityBuca-İzmirTurkey

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