Role of magnetometers and GPR devices in archaeology

The advancement of technology has made it much easier for the modern man not only to live a life as he wants to live, but also have a better understanding of the past, especially the life of the ancestors and the glorious past that we have actually inherited.

The advancement in the field of archeology – the field of studying the past and charting the origin and development of mankind in this universe – also had a fair share of advanced equipments that will help the modern man explore the past history.

A number of sensors are available in the modern day for a person, especially the scientists and military personnel, to scan a given site from the ground level. It is common that these sensors are used by military personnel to scan for land mines or such other things over a specified site.

A specialized type of sensor that can be of immense use, especially to the archeologists, is the magnetometer.

What does this magnetometer do?

The primary role of a magnetometer is to find out as well as measure any disturbances in the magnetic field of the earth that could have been caused by water. This can be detected from the trenches or ditches or even from metallic remains uncovered beneath the earth.

Another wonderful innovation is the GPR device or the Ground Penetrating Radar device. This GPR device can be used effectively for detecting objects beneath the ground.

Before deploying the GPR device, the archeologists test the electrical resistance of the soil or the sand at a specified site. Then, the GPR device is deployed into service for further research. What this GPR device does is quite simple. It sends electromagnetic waves into the ground. If these waves encounter an object beneath the ground having different electro-magnetic properties, then the electromagnetic waves from the GPR Device bounce back, locating the exact place where a different object was located.

This GPR device, put to use in 2002 as part of excavation in Europe, was instrumental in uncovering the existence of a town in Egypt that existed before 2500 years. Further investigations revealed that the town, said to have existed 2500 years ago, had 4000 people there. The town was located in the vicinity of the great pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara in Egypt, and some of the fossil remains shed light that these people were involved in the construction of that pyramid.