Popular TV shows such as "Bones" and "CSI" showcase ground-penetrating radar (GPR) as a tool to solve crimes. GPR is just one of the resources in the toolkit of 21st century archaeologists. The March 12 symposium, "Exploring North Carolina's Archaeological Heritage through Remote Sensing and Geophysics" will allow professional review of technologies now available.
The North Carolina Office of State Archaeology in Association with the North Carolina Museum of History and the U.S. Forest Service will host the event at the Museum of History, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The free event is open to public.
In recent years more questions have risen about when and which applications are appropriate for a specific site, who determines the methodology and how the results are reviewed. This symposium will review results in North Carolina and beyond in an effort to address these concerns.
In addition to GPR in archaeology, topics will include 3D remote sensing and modeling, geophysical surveys and their use on new and well-researched sites, and the more familiar use of metal detecting. All of the researchers will look for best practices and the most information rich techniques. A community of archeologists, geographers and anthropologists from the private and public sector will present findings during the day.
The importance of these new tools is not only the search for new and more complete information, but the preservation of culturally significant sites for future generations. These non-invasive methods potentially can yield much more information with much less site degradation.
Use of the some applications at House in the Horseshoe State Historic Site, Troublesome Creek Ironworks and Guildford Courthouse in Greensboro, on Cherokee lifeways on the Appalachian Summit and the McCoy Bridge in Macon County, cemeteries and other sites will be reviewed.
The Office of State Archaeology and the N.C. Museum of History are part of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.