Development of the initial physico-archaeological model of the Nahal-Zehora site (Central Israel) using modern magnetic data interpretation.

Lev Eppelbaum, S. E. Itkis, A. Gopher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The magnetic survey provides a ground plan of the cultural remains before the archaeological excavations. In special cases, it may even be used instead of excavations for understanding the cultural environment in order to avoid site destruction. For the first time, a detailed magnetic survey was conducted in Israel at a sufficiently large (60 x 80 m) area. The studied area is located to the south of the excavated portion of the site Nahal Zehora II -- a Neolithic village of the late 6th to mid 5th millennium (uncalibrated C-14) B.C. in central Israel. The total magnetic field was observed with a step between points of 0.5 m, the distance between investigated profiles was 10 m and the total number of the observed points was about 5,200. The magnetic susceptibility of soil was measured on 180 samples. At the studied area, 12 anomalies apparently reflecting three types of archaeological remains have been identified: (1) local high-intensive anomalies due to the iron-containing (we do not exclude an agricultural origin of these objects) or fired structures, (2) negative anomalies caused by the ancient constructions made from a non-magnetic material (limestone), (3) positive anomalies due to accumulation of the ancient human habitation (repeated heating of the soil as well as accumulation of organic debris, etc.). In parallel with the conventional procedures (removing temporal magnetic variations, gridding magnetic data, and qualitative interpretation) the improved methods for inverse problem solution and 3-D modeling of the magnetic field have been applied. The developed initial physical-archaeological model of the site shows ranging studied targets, their exact location, and calculated depth of the upper edge (for the model of a thin bed) and position of the center of the anomalous body (for the model of the horizontal circular cylinder).
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationSelected Papers presented at the Ann. SAGEEP Conference
StatePublished - 2000


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