Object structure


Magnetic prospecting in archaeological research: a historical outline


Archaeologia Polona Vol. 53 (2015)




Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology Polish Academy of Sciences

Place of publishing:


Date issued/created:



ill. ; 24 cm

Subject and Keywords:

history of archaeological geophysics ; magnetic method ; magnetic balance ; proton magnetometer ; fluxgate magnetometer ; optically pumped magnetometer


The article presents an overview of the history of the magnetic method in archaeological research, from its first use in 1958 in England through the 1990s. Brief presentations of the history of research using this method have already appeared in general works dedicated to archaeological geophysics, but merely as introductory chapters, which have focused on initial stages of the application of particular methods (chiefly magnetic and electrical resistivity) and highlighted achievements in the field in Western Europe, primarily the UK. In the present text, the author has also included the history of the use of the magnetic method in other parts of Europe (Central and Eastern Europe) and on other continents. He analyzes technological changes in the instruments used for research, from the proton magnetometer and magnetic balance to the increasingly advanced fluxgate and optically pumped magnetometers. He also examines the changes in measurement technology and data processing that have occurred and the factors shaping the development of the method


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