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Geologists Help Archeologists
August 1, 2008 14:41

Staraya Ryazan

Soil sounding, which is a common operation for geologists, reveals not only rocks and relic forms of relief, but also archeological artifacts.

Everyone knows how classic archeologist looks like – a man with a shovel, a brush or a whisk, because when we want to unhide mysteries of ancient times from numerous cultural layers, we should dig them out first. Locations of sites, which are promising for archeologists, are more or less well known, but the very place to start diggings in order to find magnificent historical treasures is sometimes a huge problem. Russian scientists suggest a solution – it turns out that location of underground objects can be detected by means of geological radar.

Research fellows of geological faculty of Moscow State University established a group of archeological geophysics GEOR, which surveys archeological artifacts by means of geological radar sensing. Russian enthusiasts have already found several cultural and historical burials, which are extremely interesting for their colleague archeologists.

In simple words technique of geological radar sensing is following. Georadar emits a high-frequency electromagnetic pulse, which penetrates the ground and is reflected by an interface, where structure of the environment changes. That is the way the radar detected both geological objects and geometry of cultural burials. Scientists have a portable georadar, which travels on a three-wheeled cart. This device is able to perform continuous survey of a desired territory. As for geodetic connection, the device is equipped with GPS + GLONASS receivers.



Georadar is connected to a computer, which shows real-time image as a survey result. In order to understand received results, researchers have developed special software, which uses images of slices at various depths to build three-dimensional models of objects, located in radar sensing anomalies.

During recent expedition of the GEOR group to the site of ancient settlement called Staraya Ryazan, scientists discovered ruins of houses, pieces of stoves, ancient road, necropolis and foundation of a chapel. The survey covered total of 5 hectares. Now is it high time for archeologists to take fresh geological radar sensing maps and to start target diggings.

A brief historic overview – Staraya Ryazan was one of the largest cities of Ancient Rus’ in 12-13 centuries, located 60 kilometers away form the modern Ryazan near the place, where the Serebryanka river flows into the Oka river. This city was first mentioned in the chronicles in 1095, but a Slavonic settlement existed here much earlier. Before the Tatar invasion Staraya Ryazan was a flourishing centre of trades and crafts. Later the city was among first fortresses, which showed strong resistance against the enemy. In 1237 the city was burnt to ashes, and later failed to rise in the same greatness, and another city, present Ryazan, became the capital of the princedom. The territory of the ancient fortress still hides a lot of valuable and interesting items.

Source: Science & Life

Kizilova Anna

Tags: Ryazan     

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