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Innovative Approaches to Rapid Archaeological Site Surveying and Evaluation Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund Project # 3837. Richard Bates, Martin Dean, Mark Lawrence Phil Robertson, Fernando Tempera University of St Andrews Louis Atallah, University of Edinburgh.

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Innovative Approaches to Rapid Archaeological Site Surveying and EvaluationAggregate Levy Sustainability FundProject # 3837

Richard Bates, Martin Dean, Mark Lawrence

Phil Robertson, Fernando Tempera

University of St Andrews

Louis Atallah,

University of Edinburgh

innovative approaches to rapid archaeological site surveying and evaluation
Innovative Approaches to Rapid Archaeological Site Surveying and Evaluation

Project Aim

To exploit the potential of geophysical techniques to allow rapid, detailed investigation of submerged archaeological sites and their immediate surroundings

Project Objectives

  • Geophysical equipment appraisal
  • Development of enhanced geophysical processing techniques
  • Documentation and evaluation of historical records (on test site – Stirling Castle)
  • Characterisation of test site and environmental setting surrounding site, design of long term management strategies
  • Public dissemination of information
survey methods hardware and software
Survey Methods – Hardware and Software

Hardware

Geophysical Tools

  • Multibeam Bathymetry – Reson 8125 Twin Head
  • Sidescan sonar – Klein 3000 or equivalent
  • AGDS – dual frequency
  • Magnetometry

Ground Truth

  • Images
    • Diver
    • Dropdown
    • ROV
    • AUV
  • Samples
    • Diver
    • Grab

Software

  • Bathymetry processing
  • Sidescan image analysis
new processing methods software
New Processing Methods (software)
  • Rapid assessment of large survey areas
  • Discrimination of artefacts from background noise

Methods

  • Expert system analysis of sidescan or backscatter
    • Automated approach using scale saliency features for object detection (Atallah et al., 2005)
  • Combination of backscatter and bathymetry
    • (Atallah and Probert-Smith, 2005)
scale saliency method applied to belfast loch test site
Scale Saliency method applied to Belfast Loch Test Site

(for site information see Quinn et al., 2005)

test sites
Test Sites

Artificial Test Site (Plymouth Sound)

  • mapping of artefacts and common debris

Hastings Shingle Bank

  • aggregate production area
  • Thomas Lawrence
  • artificial targets

Stirling Castle

  • comparison with previous data
  • two year study of change
artificial test site
Artificial Test Site
  • Build on work accomplished by ADU and Centre for Maritime Archaeology in Belfast Lough
  • Test site located in Plymouth Sound
  • Site construction and survey 31 March - 8 April
  • Site Artefacts to include: ceramic pots, plates, tiles, edged weapons, waterlogged wood, spoil heaps, buckets, bell, chain, tubes
  • Survey with: Reson 8125 dual head, Submetrix Swathplus, Klein 3000, SEA Echoplus
  • Site survey methods: offsets, line spacing, ranges
test site hastings shingle bank
Test Site – Hastings Shingle Bank
  • Cooperative project with Wessex Archaeology
  • Area of current and future aggregate extraction
  • Deploy limited number of larger targets (approx. 1m3)
  • Survey with wider-area tools – sidescan
  • Test pattern recognition software
stirling castle
Stirling Castle

70-gun ship of the line built in 1678 at Deptford

Part of Samuel Pepy’s regeneration of the Navy

Lost with all her crew on the Goodwin Sands in the Great Gale of 1703

Found in 1979 by sports divers

Historic site with long history of investigation using geophysical methods

Site environmental conditions known to change rapidly

Need to manage the site with respect to changes predicted in future environment

Isle of Thanet

Ramsgate

North Sand Head

Stirling Castle

Goodwin Sands

stirling castle agds and sidescan sonar
Stirling Castle – AGDS and Sidescan Sonar

SEA AGDS – Roughness and Hardness

E1-E2 overlaid on Imaginex 858 sidescan

(from Lawrence and Bates, 2002)

stirling castle survey plan 2005 2006
Stirling Castle – Survey Plan 2005-2006

Wide-area environmental setting survey

  • Swathplus
  • Klein 3000

Site survey

  • Reson 8125 dual head
  • Klein 3000
  • AGDS - Echoplus

Ground discrimination

  • ground truth through ROV
  • Sediment sampling outside of wreck site
information dissemination
Information Dissemination

Dedicated web site (next month)

Reports

Papers

Workshops

Conferences (national and international)