Geophysical Prospection of Archaeological Sites by Examples

By:  Harald von der Osten-Woldenburg


Updated: Dec/16/2018


Different geophysical methods are used for detection, classifying and documentation of various archaeological objects.

The project Geophysical Prospection of Archaeological Sites of the government of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, was started in the end of 1991 by the author. Up to now methods used are: Geomagnetics, Geoelectrics, Electromagnetic Induction and Ground Penetrating Radar.

GPR survey within an egyptian temple
fascinating conditions from time to time ...
sometimes changing to the vertical...
impressive prospecting with a high spirited anatolian women...

Some results of prospections are presented on this site. To view results just click in the main menu at the button corresponding to the c ountry you are interested in.

An overview of the instrumentation used for geophysical surveys is given in the following table.

Method Equipment / Instruments

Ground Penetrating Radar 

  • SIR-2 manufactured by GSSI

  • antennas used: 200 MHz, 400 MHz, 500 MHz, 900 MHz, 1500 MHz

    Electromagnetic Induction 

  • electromagnetic instruments:

  • EM-61 and EM-38 from Geometrics  

  • multifrequential instruments

  • Geomagnetics 

  • Fluxgate Gradiometer:

  • FM-36 (1991-2004), FM256 (2004-...): Geoscan Research

    FEREX 4.032 4-channel gradiometer: Institute Dr. Foerster

  • Cs-Gradiometer:

  • Cs-3 sensors: Scintrex, electronics: picodas Group


  • Resistivity-Meters:

  • RM-15 from Geoscan Research and Syscal R2 from Iris Instruments  

  • "semi-self-made" tomographic instruments


    NOTE: No informations on the locations are given in those cases where no excavations were carried out so far, but where the results may be of great interest for people loving digging for their own at unusual hours....