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Thread: Magnetic Surveying Reveals Hidden Ancient Buildings and Streets

  1. #1
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    Default Magnetic Surveying Reveals Hidden Ancient Buildings and Streets

    Buried buildings subtly distort natural magnetic fields, providing a magnetic surveying team with clues that helped archaeologists map an ancient city.


    Rozan Alkhatib-Alkontar surveys a patch of ground at the site of the ancient city of Thaj, Saudi Arabia, with a lab-made system for measuring magnetic fields. Anomalies in Earth's magnetic fields provide clues to buried archaeological artifacts, a new study shows.
    Credit: P. Calou

    Archaeologists often search for ancient buildings that are buried without a visible trace on the surface. A magnetic surveying group has found a way to address this issue, applying their expertise to help archaeologists search for buildings at the ancient Saudi Arabian city of Thaj.

    Thaj is believed to have been occupied between the 3rd century BCE and the 4th century CE. An ongoing archaeology project started investigating the site in 2016. The archaeologists knew the location of the city, but the internal layout of some of the city is hidden from sight, making it difficult to determine the most productive places to excavate. Despite the lack of visual clues, the limestone buildings in the city subtly distort Earth’s natural magnetic field. Magnetic surveying techniques can use these distortions to provide a glimpse of the structures hidden underground.
    Jérôme Rohmer, an archaeologist working on the Thaj project, contacted the magnetic surveying group led by Marc Munschy. This group is a part of the Géology Océans Lithosphère Sédiments team at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Strasbourg in Strasbourg, France. Although Munschy’s team does not specialize in archaeology, the techniques for detecting magnetic anomalies that they use can help with a variety of applications—detecting unexploded ordnance, for example—so they decided to take on this new challenge.
    Munschy’s group was confident that they could accurately measure the magnetic fields, explained team member Paul Calou, but the type of site determines what data they obtain and how to interpret them. Calou, a Ph.D. student at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Strasbourg, helped conduct the research and presented the research at a poster session on 11 December at AGU’s Fall Meeting 2018. “So when someone calls and asks, ‘Can you come and check,’ we don’t really know what it will be,” he added. However, a member of his group had previously investigated a site with similar limestone constructions, so they were optimistic that they could get good results in Thaj.
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    Magnetic Surveying Reveals Hidden Ancient Buildings and Streets (LINK)


    #include [ std-disclaimer ]

    Hope the voyage is a long one.
    May there be many a summer morning when,
    with what pleasure, what joy,
    you come into harbors seen for the first time...

    Ithaka, by Cavafy
    (Keeley - Sherrard translation)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Magnetic Surveying Reveals Hidden Ancient Buildings and Streets

    Fascinating.

    The best statement I've seen from this latest carnage came from a student who lived through it -

    "My generation will not allow this to continue!"

    Remember voting age is 18. Read it and weep reds.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Magnetic Surveying Reveals Hidden Ancient Buildings and Streets

    And now it's a sand-pit.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Magnetic Surveying Reveals Hidden Ancient Buildings and Streets

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    And now it's a sand-pit.
    Ozymandias
    Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792 - 1822

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away."

    Hope the voyage is a long one.
    May there be many a summer morning when,
    with what pleasure, what joy,
    you come into harbors seen for the first time...

    Ithaka, by Cavafy
    (Keeley - Sherrard translation)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Magnetic Surveying Reveals Hidden Ancient Buildings and Streets

    who will look at our ruins in 2000 years?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Magnetic Surveying Reveals Hidden Ancient Buildings and Streets

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    who will look at our ruins in 2000 years?
    sexy robots

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Magnetic Surveying Reveals Hidden Ancient Buildings and Streets

    He channeled me -- my unborn self!

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