Session on "Geophysical Approaches to Landscape Archaeology" at LAC 2016

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Landscape Archaeology Conference 2016, Uppsala (SE), 23-25 August, 2016

Session organisation:
Philippe De Smedt (Ghent University), Immo Trinks (LBI ArchPro)

Session summary (G3) :
Over the past decades geophysical archaeological prospection has matured to a means for assessing entire archaeological landscapes. Novel near-surface geophysical survey techniques now permit time- and cost-efficient archaeological investigation of areas that can surpass square kilometre-scale. For the first time, researchers are able to study the subsurface of wide areas non-invasively and at high resolutions by prospection methods such as magnetometry, ground-penetrating radar, electromagnetic induction, and earth resistance measurements. Often used alongside remote sensing methods, these techniques shed light on both archaeological and natural features buried in the shallow subsurface. As such, archaeo-geophysics is providing the basis for a new way of conducting landscape archaeology.
In this session we propose to discuss the implications of large-scale and high-resolution geophysical prospection for landscape archaeology. Main emphasis will be on the different aspects landscape archaeo-geophysics can inform on, and on how these methods are being implemented into wider archaeological research frameworks. In addition, we plan to reflect on the implications these new research methods can have, or already impose, on commercial and developer-led archaeology. Along with the pitfalls of these techniques, we aim to discuss how different methods can help to alter biases in understanding landscapes.
This session is aimed at prospectors (remote sensing experts, geophysicists, archaeological surveyors) working in the field of large-scale archaeological prospection, as well as users of the generated data, including archaeologists, historians and cultural heritage managers.


  • The papers submitted to this session should cover one or more aspects of the following topics:
  • Novel techniques for geophysical archaeological prospection of large-areas
  • Multi-methodological approaches to landscape prospection through integrating (e.g.) geotechnical surveys, remote sensing and invasive prospection.
  • Problems and solutions regarding automation and in ‘big data’-management
  • Novel approaches to visualise large-scale prospection results using virtual archaeology
  • Spatio-temporal analysis of large-scale digital prospection data
  • The impact of soils, sediments and geology on geophysical landscape archaeology
  • Landscape geophysics as a basis for geo-archaeological research
  • Potentials and pitfalls of large-scale archaeological prospection surveys
  • The space in-between archaeological sites – emptiness in the archaeological landscape from a prospection point of view.
  • Interdisciplinary aspects of landscape-scale archaeological prospection; what can we learn from other disciplines, and what can we offer them?
  • Large-scale archaeological geophysics in developer-led and commercial archaeology
  • Theoretical implications of geophysical landscape studies

Practical information:
The abstracts may be submitted on an official Abstract Submission form [download here ]
Questions regarding abstract submission should be sent to the secretariat at
For questions regarding other matters (e.g. exhibition, venues, and general information) please contact Professor Paul Lane at
Conference website:

The deadline for paper/poster submission is April 1st, 2016.