Monday, May 24, 2010


We were lucky enough to have UWF graduate and geophysical guru Sarah Mitchell at the site today. She brought with her two of UWF's geophysical machines: the soil resistivity and magnetometer. Under her direction the students lay out two adjacent 20 x 20 meter grids in Area A in which we would run the soil resistivity machine.

Here (right) Capri Wright lays down tapes.

Resistivity involves the measurement of resistance to an electrical current, which is passed through the ground. The amount of resistance is affected by how much moisture is present in the soil. Fortunately for us, two of our students, Meagan Rea and Salina Hebert, already have had practice running the soil resistivity machinery and were able to assist the rest of the class.

After the machinery was put together, students took turns running it up and down our established grid lines. This was a unique opportunity to explore a piece of scientific equipment that few other undergraduate field schools have an chance to use.

Here Peter Sittig (left) gets his chance to try out the machinery, while Becky Jadallah (right) makes sure that the lines don't get tangled.

Unfortunately, we ran out of time to use the magnetometer. Sarah plans to come back within the next week to complete this portion of our geophysical survey. The results from our soil resistivity survey are due back in only a few days. Stay tuned for the results! We hope that these surveys will reveal further evidence for architectural features or other similar occupational zones.

And to wrap up today's post, please check out the video below to see the resistivity machine in action! That's Salina Hebert and Peter Sittig making science look easy.

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