First geophysical scan of Amphipolis mound released

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The Ministry of Culture has announced that according to the results of the geophysical scan of Kasta Hill [pictured] in Amphipolis, where the enigmatic ancient Greek tomb has been located, human intervention appears to be rather limited.

First geophysical scan of Amphipolis mound released
First geophysical scan of Amphipolis mound released
Areas marked p1 to p4 indicate areas with especially high electrical resistance 
[Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]

The team of scientists primarily used electrical tomography techniques – and to a lesser extent ground penetrating radar (GPR) – in order to examine human intervention on the hill. As it transpires, the man-made embankment is only a minor portion of the hill.

“The geophysical and geological mapping of Kasta hill in Amphipolis started on November 11, 2014, and was conducted with interruptions due to unfavourable weather conditions,” announced the Greek Ministry of Culture.

The research team is headed by Gregorios Tsokas, Director of the Laboratory of Applied Geophysics of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Professor Panagiotis Tsourlos, Associate Professor George Vargemezis, graduate students and other scientific staff from the laboratory.

The research focused on scanning the soil from the time prior to the the mound’s construction. For this purpose, geological and tectonic observations were performed along with several electrical tomographies. Recent removal of soil and earlier excavations have freed the area to observe the geological formations’ position and characteristics.

The subsoil around the mound area was investigated. Area prospecting was conducted by applying the method of electrical resistivity tomography and, to a very small extent, the method of subsurface radar (known as GPR – Ground Penetrating Radar) due to the specific geological and archaeological conditions.

The geophysical survey provided information of the hill’s interior where static structures were identified, which were further investigated. In one case, in the northern section of the mound, the removal of soil revealed that the subsurface structure was a natural formation.

“Some other points that have been identified require further excavation research. The research continues, when weather conditions permit,” the official report concluded. 

Source: To Vima [December 22, 2014]

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