Geophysical examination of the archaeological site Emmaus-Nicopolis (central Israel).

Lev Eppelbaum, S. E. Itkis

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


Christian archaeological site Emmaus-Nicopolis is well known in ancient and Biblical history. The site is 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) 20 x 44 m (total number of observation points – 945) and (B) 20 x 20 m (total number of observation points – 441). Distance between the observation points was 1 meter, but not all points were accessible due to dense vegetation. Magnetic sensor (quantum magnetometer) was located at 20 cm above the earth’s surface (according to our experience at similar archaeological objects (Eppelbaum et al., 2001)). For measuring temporary magnetic variations a proton magnetometer was applied. These variations were removed in a conventional way. For quantitative interpretation of magnetic anomalies were applied methods (improved versions of tangents, characteristic point, and areal) (Khesin et al., 1996) especially developed for complicated environments: oblique magnetization, rugged terrain relief, and unknown level of the normal field. At site "A" the local and very intensive magnetic anomaly (about 2000 nT) was interpreted. Its depth was estimated as 45 cm and was confirmed by the following excavations (35-40 cm). Archaeologically this source was interpreted as remains of the strong watch fire of 80 years old. After removing these points from the common set, in the magnetic pattern of site "A" some peculiarities of buried constructions were recognized. A lot of the positive and negative magnetic anomalies were interpreted in site "B" (mainly) and site "A" (partially). The depth of the anomalous sources ranges from 0.8 to 1.8 m. For 3-D modeling of the magnetic field was applied the developed GSFC (Geological Space Field Calculation) program (Khesin et al., 1996). Utilization of procedures “K-mean”, “Sign”, “Adaptive energetic filtering”, “Inverse probability filtering”, “2-D entropy filtering”, and “Self-adapting filtering” allowed to increase the ratio useful signal/noise. An integrated geophysical-archaeological analysis of obtained results permitted to trace the next objects for geophysical examination.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCollection of Papers of the XIXth International UNESCO Symposium “New Perspectives to Save the Cultural Heritage”
StatePublished - 2003
EventProceedings of the XIXth International Symposium CIPA 2003; Antalya (Turkey), 30 September - 04 October, 2003: New Perspectives to Save Cultural Heritage - Antalya, Turkey
Duration: 30 Sep 20034 Oct 2003
Conference number: 19

Publication series

NameThe CIPA international archives for documentation of cultural heritage
Name The international archives of photogrammetry, remote sensing, and spatial information sciences


ConferenceProceedings of the XIXth International Symposium CIPA 2003; Antalya (Turkey), 30 September - 04 October, 2003
Abbreviated titleCIPA 2003


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