CAA 2011 Archaeological Geophysics Session

Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven in Beijing

Image via Wikipedia, author attribution: Fioshoot (via Flickr:

This post is to announce a session at the 2011 Computer Applications in Archaeology Conference which will be chaired by myself and Christine Markussen in Beijing. We’ve designed the session to be a general session on remote sensing, however with a particular focus on community and collaboration between practitioners in the field of archaeological geophysics. I’ve pasted the session abstract below, and would like to invite any one who’s interested in the session to please consider putting in a paper abstract here. The deadline is November 15. Please feel free to share/post to relevant lists!

UPDATE: The deadline for paper/poster abstracts has been extended to December 15- Get you abstracts in!

CAA 2011 – Collective Geophysics in Archaeology: Moving Forward
Session Chairs: Christine Markussen and Jessica Ogden

Around the globe, geophysical prospection has become a common tool for the detection of buried features, structures, and deposits within archaeological contexts. Many of us have familiarized ourselves with the available instruments and processing the various forms of remote sensing data. Over the years, the equipment has become more advanced, the data collection streamlined, and the resulting data has created clear and accurate imagery of buried cultural deposits. Overall, the practice and application of geophysics has brought multiple disciplines together to achieve diverse research goals. Yet at times we face challenges caused by specialized equipment, technical complexity, and lack of open forums, leading to a danger that the field will grow into a close-knit, but inaccessible community. It is therefore vital that the community remains approachable and continues to engage with other sub-disciplines if it is to remain at the cutting edge of innovation.

While prospection methods have become more common, particularly in certain parts of the world, many of us are now looking forward to a new phase of geophysical prospection in archaeology. It is the goal of this session to explore recent technological advances in geophysics together with new and emerging approaches in the field of archaeological prospection. It is our hope to inspire an increased dialogue between international surveyors and to stimulate collaborative projects that highlight geophysics as a significant contribution to how we look at and interpret the past.

Papers that address the use of geophysics as a planning tool for both research-oriented projects and commercial archaeological practices are encouraged. In addition to aiding the formulation of research designs, papers that cover new approaches to data collection, advances in survey technologies, data processing, and data integration are also welcome. Community-oriented approaches to the presentation and dissemination of geophysical data sets and shared knowledge through the use of web-based media, blogging, online forums, and wikis are strongly encouraged. Moreover, papers which address economic concerns within the field through the application of open-source technologies are also invited to participate.

It is hoped that this session will generate interest and general discussions on the direction of the discipline as a whole, by facilitating a much-needed dialogue among newcomers, professionals, academics, software developers, and equipment manufacturers within the field. Only by maintaining this dialogue will the field continue to advance, expand, and become an ever more widely used approach to archaeological investigation throughout the world.


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