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TitleUsing in situ gamma ray spectrometry (GRS) exploration of buried archaeological structures: A case study from NW Spain
Author(s)Sanjurjo-Sánchez, Jorge
Arce Chamorro, Carlos
Alves, C.
Sánchez-Pardo, Jose Carlos
Blanco-Rotea, Rebeca
Costa-García, Jose Manuel
KeywordsArchaeological survey
Radioactive isotope
Gamma spectrometry
Non-destructive survey
Maps of elements ratios
Radioactive isotopes
Issue date2018
JournalJournal of Cultural Heritage
CitationSanjurjo-Sánchez, J., Chamorro, C. A., Alves, C., Sánchez-Pardo, J. C., et. al. (2018). Using in situ gamma ray spectrometry (GRS) exploration of buried archaeological structures: A case study from NW Spain. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 34, 247-254
Abstract(s)Geophysical exploration methods allow the detection of archaeological features before any excavation is carried out on these sites. This is due to the contrast of properties between the buried archaeological structures and objects and the surrounding soil, sediment, or rock. Although Gamma-ray spectrometry (GRS) is [widely] used for geological exploration and mapping, it has been scarcely used in archaeology so far, despite the successful results of previous studies on the matter. In situ GRS is a non-destructive method that allows direct assessment of uranium-238 (238U) and thorium-232 (232Th) from daughter radionuclides of their decay chains, as well as potassium-40 (40K), on soils and rock outcrops. The technique documents the concentration of these isotope concentrations in the topsoil by surface measurements and this enhances its potential for archaeological exploration. However, two assumptions must be made: the archaeological objects must contain a different concentration of radionuclides than the surrounding sediment or soil, and they must be buried in the terrain less than 25–30 cm deep. In this work, we present the results of the use of in situ GRS for the study of a buried structure in the archaeological site of Cidadela (Galicia, NW Spain). Firstly, we have tested in situ spot GRS measurements to detect rock-built structures buried in the sediments; secondly, we have excavated the surveyed area. The results are reliable despite the low radioactive content of the rocks used as building materials, given that the burying and sediments also have low amounts of radioactive isotopes. Although the direct use of the estimates of K, U and Th has not proved successful, the use of U/Th, Th/K and U/K ratios provided reliable results
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Appears in Collections:Lab2PT - Artigos
Lab2PT - Artigos

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