Incorporating Geophysical Remote Sensing into Transportation Archeological Investigations

Transportation agencies interested in surveying cultural resources within a project area have a suite of commonly used archeological methods available to discover buried features. Geophysical remote sensing (GRS) offers archeologists additional means by which to determine an area’s sensitivity for archeological resources. Moreover, GRS technologies achieve this while maintaining noninvasive examination of culturally sensitive or difficult-to-reach areas. Funded by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, this study investigated both the existing uses and potential innovative applications of GRS at state departments of transportation (DOTs) through an extended survey, case studies, and stakeholder interviews. States that have experience with GRS on archeological investigations are identified, as well as the types of technologies often employed, advantages and disadvantages of their use, and the kinds of information needed to facilitate future agency decisions. A study survey was sent to all 50 state DOTs after appropriate participants—usually the DOT state archeologist—were identified, and responses were received from 30 DOTs. Results indicate some initial experience with geophysical technologies at state DOTs, as well as a significant need for additional regional information regarding available consultants, technologies, and data reliability. Although GRS is not appropriate for use in all situations, this research has shown that several state DOTs have successfully utilized multiple technologies and found results to be consistent with the needs of transportation archeological investigations.


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  • Accession Number: 01044338
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309104371
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 6:57PM