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Wednesday, March 15 • 4:00pm - 5:40pm
Differing Perspectives: The wide world of geophysical prospection (Part II)

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(Part II) The last 15 years of technical and methodological advancements in archaeological prospection have led to the development of ever larger, motorised arrays and an increasing capacity for ever smaller transect spacing. As a result, greater areas of high-resolution data are now collected with unprecedented speed. The availability of large-scale surveys yielding high-resolution prospection data has unquestionably had and still has immense impact on the application of geophysical prospection and its future development. However, as a result of these advancements, many small-scale, low budget geophysical surveys carried out today are overshadowed by those surveys covering square-kilometres. Notwithstanding, archaeological geophysical prospection is carried out from different perspectives in all regions of the world and applied to various site types in diverse environmental settings. Naturally, factors such as individual aims and objectives, geographical settings, vegetation cover, available geophysical systems and not least access, timing restrictions or budgets issues can prevent the use of large-scale survey equipment or the possibility of covering large areas. But are such smaller-scaled surveys perceived as inferior in quality, or as a step back in the sequence of a linear development? In other words, Can we determine the quality of a survey by its size? If not size, what does constitute a modern, progressive and excellent geophysical study? Ultimately, the world of geophysical prospection is much wider than is sometimes appreciated by the research community these days. Broad backgrounds of geophysical surveys exist that have taken care to incorporate the necessary expertise and technologies effectively, where the methods and techniques used were ideal for answering the research questions at hand. Mindful practices during data acquisition, processing and interpretation have been considered and more importantly, respected. These measures, on any scale, can result in outstanding geophysical prospection work and represent high-quality and successful geophysical surveys. This session aims to highlight the wide ranges and diverse scopes present today in geophysical prospection and to point out the differing perspectives with which surveys are undertaken. We encourage both large and small-scale surveys, differences in tools, survey design and approaches but also techniques used more rarely or methods applied in an unusual way or in an unusual situation. We would like to hear from all regions of the globe with differing perspectives of what constitutes a successful survey to them. Relevant questions to consider for submission include: How have you addressed the scope and answered the research questions effectively? Why was your method more suitable than another? What made your survey uniquely successful? Which obstacles have you encountered and how did you overcome them? Which new developments are needed? And where is archaeological prospection heading in the future?

Wednesday March 15, 2017 4:00pm - 5:40pm EDT
SCE 217 Student Center East

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