How can geophysical surveys benefit your project?

ARS cart and Magnetometer warming up before a survey, this has to be done to allow the coils to warm up inside the magnetometers © ARS Ltd 2023
Magnetometer and survey taking place up in Scotland across a possible smelting site © ARS Ltd 2023
GPS in the grids for the manual magnetometry surveys must be done so a line can be followed to allow us to collect the data © ARS Ltd 2023

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be delving deeper into our specialist services to see how these exciting, innovative techniques can work and what benefits they might offer our archaeological projects. As you’ll discover, it’s not just about digging!

Today we’re talking geophysical surveys, which can be a crucial component of a project and provide numerous benefits to clients.

The key advantage to using them is that they offer a non-invasive survey of what’s under the ground, which reduces the need to disturb the site with trial trenches or extensive excavation. By efficiently mapping subsurface features with precision and speed, this allows archaeologists to make more informed decisions about where to target their excavations, optimising resource allocation and saving both time and money.

Geophysical methods such as ground-penetrating radar (GPR), magnetometry, and electrical resistivity have been highly successful. They’ve aided in the discovery of burial sites, ancient structures, and historical layouts without disrupting the surrounding environment. Furthermore, geophysical surveys promote collaboration among multidisciplinary teams of experts, including archaeologists, geophysicists, and specialists in various fields. This collaborative effort not only enhances the accuracy of findings but also fosters a deeper understanding of historical and geological contexts.

With our own team of specialists, ARS Ltd has a long history of undertaking geophysical surveys successfully, finding all kinds of features in the landscape of the UK – from prehistoric ring ditches to possible Romano-British farmsteads. By offering non-invasive, cost-effective, and efficient means of subsurface exploration, this essential tool of modern archaeology enables targeted excavation, better helps preserve cultural heritage, and encourages in-house, interdisciplinary collaboration with our other teams to unlock the mysteries of the past.

Learn more about all of our specialist services here >

Revealing a deserted medieval village © ARS Ltd 2023
Roman Fort identified by geophysical survey © ARS Ltd 2023
Archaeological Research Services Ltd