SASS – UMass Boston – Fiske Center – Archaeology

Blog of the Skagafjordur Archaeological Settlement Survey

Preliminary Report on Greenland


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We recently put up our preliminary report from our 2010 experimental season in Greenland.  The title is “Evaluating the Potential of Archaeogeophysical Surveying on Viking Age and Medieval Sites in Greenland. October 2011” and it is Cultural Resource Management Study No. 51.  Many of the Fiske Center’s reports can be found on our Reports and Publications page.  The report is by Douglas J. Bolender, John M. Steinberg, Brian N. Damiata, John W. Schoenfelder, and Kathryn Caitlin.

To sum up. our preliminary investigation suggests that archaeogeophysics will be hard pressed to identify buried Viking Age turf walls that do not have stone foundations.  We have found that both magnetometry and the in-phase component of electromagnetics are well suited to identify buried Viking Age stone foundations and other important cultural features and that GPR is effective for identifying Viking Age Christian graves.

John Steinberg

Author: John Steinberg

Dr. John Steinberg has been a Research Scientist at the Fiske Center since 2006. He received his PhD in Anthropology from UCLA in 1997. Before coming to UMass Boston, John taught at UCLA and California State University Northridge. He is interested in the economic problems of colonization, both in New England and across the North Atlantic. He uses GIS and shallow geophysics to study settlement patterns to understand broad trends over the landscape. In addition to John's New England work, he has been studying the settlement patterns of Viking Age Iceland. John is the director of the Digital Archaeology Laboratory at the Fiske Center.

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