The Utility of Geophysical Models in Archaeology: Illustrative Case Studies

  • M. Teresa TeixidóEmail author
  • José Antonio Peña
Part of the Natural Science in Archaeology book series (ARCHAEOLOGY)


This chapter uses case studies to illustrate the way geophysical techniques are integrated into archaeological approaches. The general idea is to show how the different geophysical models obtained using magnetic, electric, seismic and GPR data, are used in the archaeological praxis and the capacity they have to respond to particular questions.

To understand their area of application and how we can extract useful information from them, it is first necessary to establish the basic points on which the geophysical models are established. For this reason, the most general features of the geophysical exploration techniques are presented first, followed by, in successive sections, a description of their main areas of application illustrated with examples.

These areas of application have been grouped into three domains: (1) the use of geophysical models for working out the geoarchaeological context of a site; (2) for obtaining subsurface models containing the spatial distribution of buried structures; and (3) for making a detailed study of a particular structure.

We conclude this chapter by showing that geophysical information is a useful tool in archaeological research. Thanks to these methods, we are able determine the geological features of a site and assess their potential value in order to plan subsequent archaeological activities.


Geophysical prospection Geoarchaeology Buried structures Non-destructive exploration methods 



All the geophysical models presented in this chapter were generated by Applied Geophysics in the Andalusian Institute of Geophysics at the University of Granada (IAG-UGR). Both the geophysical instruments for acquiring the data and the processing software were purchased thanks to a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Andaluz de Geofísica (IAG)Universidad de Granada, Campus Universitario de CartujaGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Dpto. de Prehistoria y ArqueologíaUniversidad de Granada, Campus Universitario de CartujaGranadaSpain

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