Posts Tagged ‘conductivity’

Remote Sensing: Conductivity Survey

May 26, 2008

In August 2006 John Steinberg (UMB), David Landon (UMB), and I (Teresa Dujnic UCB) spent a day doing a conductivity survey at the site in order to find out something about the subsurface deposits. Our hope was that conductivity would be an appropriate technique for subsurface testing due to the geological make-up of Nantucket. As a glacial moraine, the island is composed primarily of sand which is very resistive to electrical current. Archaeological deposits such as privies, postholes, and trashpits would conduct the electricity much more readily, allowing these features to be detected as aberrations in the conductivity reading.

We found some interesting anomalies which may have to do with the well (mentioned in on of the deeds), the fire cistern (mentioned in an 1843 fire marshalls report), or a privy on the site. (Which only makes sense in the absence of indoor plumbing…) We also potentially found an anomaly which runs east-west in the east yard space. This could indicate that there was a hard-packed path running from the Higginbotham House to the yard of the Nantucket African Meeting House.

It is very hard to interpret this data, so all of this will need ground-truthed in the field.