CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation

G2: Geophysical prospecting, classification and validation of settlement remains in changing environments


Socio-environmental transformations are often associated with changes in the construction of settlements, ritual places and landscape conditions. Therefore, remains of the material expression of societal processes as well as landscape reconstructions can serve as corresponding archaeological proxies. Those remains, as detected and analysed in archaeological excavations and corings and their representation in geophysical prospection data thus need to be linked to enable respective quantitative interpretations of geophysical data.

In subproject G2 we study the size, structure and lithology of archaeological sites and key targets by applying geophysical investigation methods, such as magnetics, ground-penetrating radar, seismics or electrical resistivity tomography.

In the second phase of the CRC there will be two major groups of targets for G2:

  1. The exploration of Palaeolithic and Mesolithic sites with a focus on a comprehensive reconstruction of their palaeo-landscape environment based on the combined geophysical-geoarchaeological methodology developed in phase I (see Figure, methodology G2-L).
  2. The exploration of Neolithic and Bronze Age settlements with a focus on the quantitative interpretation of geophysical findings and 3D reconstruction of complex multi-phase mounds and kurgans (see Figure, methodology G2-Q).

    G2 Konzept Phase 2

Sketch illustrating the locations of the research sites and cooperating subprojects (center) as well as the two research methodologies G2-L (left) and G2-Q (right).

“G2-L” (“Landscape development”) illustrates the landscape reconstruction prospection technique, incorporating surface and borehole based geophysics yielding electric conductivity (σ), dielectric permittivity (ε), elastic shear and bulk moduli (μ,K), magnetic susceptibility (χ) and borehole analysis.

“G2-Q” (“Quantitative geophysical interpretation”) illustrates the feedback procedure between surface-based geophysics (I) covering different archaeological features of similar type, some not being excavated (framed by solid black line) and one (framed by the dotted black line) comprising borehole data, excavation and excavation related geophysics (II) and their spatial correlation to get estimations of the distribution of archaeological material in non-excavated targets (III).


Research activities 2020-2024



Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Rabbel

Institute of Geosciences - Applied Geophysics

Otto-Hahn-Platz 1, R. 316
Phone: +49 431 880-3916
Telefax: +49 431 880-4432

Subproject G2


Erica Corradini

Institute of Geosciences - Applied Geophysics

Otto-Hahn-Platz 1, R. 318
Phone: +49 431 880-3901
Telefax: +49 431 880-4432

Subproject G2

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