Archaeological Geophysics
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Ranelius Site, Minnesota

This is an ongoing project and as of this writing, the geophysical investigations have been completed but the archaeological testing has not been conducted.  Testing will start shortly.

The Science Museum of Minnesota is maintaining a blog where you can follow the progress on this project.  They included some interesting videos of the geophysical surveys.  The link to the blog is:

Worthington MN


Worthington, Minnesota

A site along the banks of Ocheda Lake near Worthington, Minnesota was thought to be an unplowed and undisturbed prehistoric site.  Geophysical investigations indicated something else may have occurred at the site and subsequent archaeological excavations indicated a pioneer sod house may have once stood there.  The work was done for a thesis project for an archaeology student at Minnesota State University at Mankato and is unpublished.




Putnam County Development Site, West Virginia

This geophysical investigation was conducted at the Putnam County Development Authority (PCDA) site located southeast of Fraziers Bottom, West Virginia by D'Appolonia Environmental Services, Inc. (D'Appolonia) on behalf of Gloria Gozdzik, Horizon Research Consultants of Morgantown, West Virginia.  The geophysical surveys were conducted in the Spring of 2003.

The objective of the investigation was to use geophysical technologies to identify possible prehistoric cultural features in a 10-acre (4-hectare) site adjacent to the Kanawha River about 1 mile southeast of the  town of Fraziers Bottom.  In addition to magnetometer and resistance surveys, we conducted resistivity profile surveys to provide electrical cross sections of selected features and to provide a stratigraphic section across the site.

Silvernale Site


Silvernale Site, Red Wing, Minnesota

In 2002, Don Johnson, Dr. Ron Schirmer, and Dr. Clark Dobbs conducted basic site mapping, shovel testing, and geophysical surveys at the Silvernale Site (21GD03) in Red Wing, Minnesota.  The most significant conclusions of the subsurface examinations in 2002 were that intact archaeological deposits are abundant at the site and that they are substantially below the surfaces disturbed by cultivation.  In 2003, 2004, and 2005, Minnesota State University at Mankato conducted their field archaeology class at Silvernale.  They tested geophysical anomalies as well as other targets at the site.

GPR at Çatalhöyük 


Çatalhöyük, Turkey

For two weeks during the 2000 field season, Don Johnson and Dr. Clark Dobbs conducted geophysical work at Çatalhöyük, Turkey.  The surveys were designed to evaluate the effectiveness of several different geophysical methods at this specific site.  Three instruments were used: a cesium vapor magnetometer (which allows measurement of both total field and vertical gradient); ground penetrating radar using antennas ranging from 50 MHz to 1000 MHz; and a Syscal Kid resistivity system that collects data to be used in 2- and 3-dimensional resistivity modelling.

Fort Buford


Fort Buford, North Dakota

Reconstruction of one of the barracks at this historic fort required that the original location be accurately determined.  Don Johnson conducted a resistance survey that successfully mapped the location of the building.  A magnetometer survey had been previously conducted but nails and other metal fragments prevented the building from being delineated.