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Assessment of the CMD Mini-Explorer, a new low-frequency multi-coil electromagnetic device, for archaeological investigations

Bonsall, J., Fry, R. ORCID:, Gaffney, C., Armit, I., Beck, A. and Gaffney, V. (2013) Assessment of the CMD Mini-Explorer, a new low-frequency multi-coil electromagnetic device, for archaeological investigations. Archaeological Prospection, 20 (3). pp. 219-231. ISSN 1075-2196

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/arp.1458


In this article we assess the abilities of a new electromagnetic (EM) system, the CMD Mini-Explorer, for prospecting of archaeological features in Ireland and the UK. The Mini-Explorer is an EM probe which is primarily aimed at the environmental/geological prospecting market for the detection of pipes and geology. It has long been evident from the use of other EM devices that such an instrument might be suitable for shallow soil studies and applicable for archaeological prospecting. Of particular interest for the archaeological surveyor is the fact that the Mini-Explorer simultaneously obtains both quadrature (‘conductivity’) and in-phase (relative to ‘magnetic susceptibility’) data from three depth levels. As the maximum depth range is probably about 1.5 m, a comprehensive analysis of the subsoil within that range is possible. As with all EM devices the measurements require no contact with the ground, thereby negating the problem of high contact resistance that often besets earth resistance data during dry spells. The use of the CMD Mini-Explorer at a number of sites has demonstrated that it has the potential to detect a range of archaeological features and produces high-quality data that are comparable in quality to those obtained from standard earth resistance and magnetometer techniques. In theory the ability to measure two phenomena at three depths suggests that this type of instrument could reduce the number of poor outcomes that are the result of single measurement surveys. The high success rate reported here in the identification of buried archaeology using a multi-depth device that responds to the two most commonly mapped geophysical phenomena has implications for evaluation style surveys. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Scientific Archaeology
Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:44881
Publisher:Wiley and Sons

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