Inštitut za arheologijo  ZRC SAZU


Branko MUŠIČ:

Geophysical prospecting in Slovenia:
An overview from the year 1990 with some observations related to the natural environment
(Geofizikalna prospekcija v Sloveniji: pregled raziskav od leta 1990 z nekaterimi ugotovitvami glede naravnega okolja)


Decades of geophysical investigations for archaeological purposes at the Department of Archaeology, the University of Ljubljana, have produced a series of useful information for academic archaeological analyses as well as for the protection of the archaeological cultural heritage from construction intervention. It is my opinion that cooperation with the archaeological profession is constructive as it substantially contributes to the attainment of reflective information on the results of archaeological excavations and other archaeological sources, all of which have augmented into a combined research plan for the future. The success of this cooperation is clearly illustrated already by the database including more than 150 locations at home and abroad, also presenting good potential for being incorporated in theoretic discussions concerning the potential of applied geophysics in archaeology. One of the main problems with archaeological prospecting is still the evaluation of the suitability of individual techniques with regard to the various natural environments and the types of archaeological remains. This is a rather ambitious theme that I am opening to discussion with this article. Numerous problems will obviously remain unsolved even with the publishing of this article; the solutions that I am presenting are the result of my own experience and I thus ground them on my own data exclusively. I shall illustrate my thoughts on this theme with the results of select investigations which satisfactorily describe the possibilities provided by geophysical prospecting for the detection of certain characteristic types of archaeological remains in diverse natural environments. The majority of these investigations have already been published in the archaeological literature, for this reason I have limited the scope of this article to those data that contribute, from various points of view, to the clarification of the potential of geophysical prospecting under diverse working conditions. The results from geophysical investigations on prehistoric sites are still lacking of any applicable conclusions, despite the relatively large number of investigations that were carried out within the framework of archaeological prospecting primarily along the routes anticipated for the construction of highways; for this reason I shall for the most part present the research determinations attained through investigations on Roman sites in various natural environments.

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