You are using an outdated browser that does not fully support the intranda viewer.
As a result, some pages may not be displayed correctly.

We recommend you use one of the following browsers:

Full text

New perspectives to save cultural heritage
Altan, M. Orhan

L. V. Eppelbaum ^ *, S. E. Itkis b
a Dept. of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences, Raymond and Beverly Sackler of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University,
Ramat Aviv 69978, Tel Aviv, Israel - lev@frodo.tau.ac.il
b Dept. of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er-Sheva, Israel -
KEY WORDS: Archaeology, Geophysics, Surveying, Application, Mathematics, Development, Interpretation, System
Christian archaeological site Emmaus-Nicopolis is well known in the ancient and Biblical history. The site located halfway between
Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, first built in the 5th century, over the site believed to be the place where Jesus appeared to two of his
disciples after his resurrection. The Crusaders rebuilt it on a smaller scale in the 12th century. Two sites were examined by detailed
magnetic investigations: (A) 25 x 40 m and (B) 10 x 24 m. Distance between the observation points was 1 meter, but not all points
were accessible due to dense vegetation and rugged topography. Quantitative interpretation of magnetic anomalies was conducted
using modern quantitative methods specially developed for complicated environments: oblique magnetization, rugged terrain relief
and unknown level of the normal field. A distinct peculiarity of the survey was the fact that from these areas an upper part of soil
(about two meters) containing modern contamination targets has been recently removed. A primary aim of this investigation was
detection of buried ancient tunnels partially discovered at the eastern part of Emmaus-Nicoplis. However, performed survey
allowing to revealing at least three high-intensive positive anomalies at the area A and one significant anomaly at the area B. Thus,
all revealed anomalies (after removing 2m soil) must reflect some buried ancient remains. Determined depth of the upper edge of
anomalous sources ranges from 0.7 to 1 m. Reliability of performed quantitative interpretation was successfully confirmed by 3-D
modeling of magnetic field. The obtained results (they may have a great archaeological importance) were transmitted to
archaeological group working at this site. The proposed ancient targets will be archaeologically inspected at the nearest time
(apparently, until October 2003).
The territory of Israel, in spite of comparatively small
dimensions (21,000 km 2 ), is very attractive for archaeologists
taking into account its dramatic ancient and Biblical history. It
is undisputable fact that location of archaeological sites at
Israeli territory is the densest in the world (for instance, Meyer,
1996; Reich, 1992). Christian remains consist of significant
part of the total number of discovered archaeological objects.
The Christian remains, according to the accomplished
experience, occur in the subsurface layer at depth from 0 to 3
meters and often hold their initial correct (quasi-correct)
geometrical form. Detailed magnetic survey is successfully
applied to searching and localization of the remains, as rapid,
effective and non-invasive tools for revealing a broad range of
various targets: buried walls, columns, foundations,
underground tunnels, chambers, water pipe systems and high
temperature features (Dalan, and Banerjee, 1996; Eppelbaum,
2000; Frese and Noble, 1984; Herwanger et al., 2000;
Weymouth, 1996). Geophysical surveys provide a ground plan
of cultural remains before excavations or may be even used
instead of excavations. Road and plant construction, selection
of areas for various engineering and agricultural aims are
usually accompanied by detailed geophysical (first of all,
magnetic) investigations. Such investigations should help
estimate the possible archaeological significance of the area
under study. Rapid (first results may be obtained during a few
hours - several days) and reliable interpretation of magnetic
data should provide protection of archaeological remains from
unpremeditated destruction.
Interpretation of magnetic surveys in Israel is complicated by a
strong oblique magnetization of the Earth’s magnetic field
(about 42-44°). The multi-layered and variable structure of the
upper part of the geological section (Dan, 1988; Rabikovitz,
1992) often does not allow calculating the level of the normal
magnetic field within the studied sites. Noise caused by
industrial iron and iron-containing objects sometimes reaches
high values. Rugged relief also disturbs the effect from the
buried objects and complicates quantitative interpretation of
magnetic anomalies (Eppelbaum and Khesin, 2001). The
complicated conditions of the survey require application of
sophisticated magnetic equipment, advanced methods of
qualitative and quantitative interpretation as well 3-D modeling
of magnetic field. The developed methods (Eppelbaum et al.,
2000b; Khesin et al., 1996) allowed to eliminate noise, to reveal
archaeological remains and calculate their depth and size, and
to conduct an accurate 3-D modeling of magnetic fields.
Eppelbaum et al. (2003b) have shown an importance of correct
mathematical formalization of geophysical/archaeological
* Corresponding author.