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Micro-Scale Mapping Using Ground-Penetrating

Radar An Example from Room 28, Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 January 2017

Jennie O. Sturm
Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, MSC01-1040 Anthropology 1, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131; and TAG Research by Sturm, Inc., 504 Barlane Pl. NW Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107
Patricia L. Crown
Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, MSC01-1040 Anthropology 1, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131


Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) has become a common method for mapping archaeological sites in the American Southwest. A less tested use for this method is to survey architectural spaces within larger pueblos to map features that may relate to the function, use, and abandonment of a specific room. In Chaco Canyon, GPR was used in a room (Room 28) within Pueblo Bonito prior to excavation to determine the presence and depth of buried features. Comparison with excavation results provides a means to evaluate how well this method mapped features in this small space. Three categories of features within this room, posts/postholes, entryways, and burned materials, were successfully identified in the GPR maps. By comparing this GPR survey with the subsequent excavation, we determined how GPR reflected these architectural features, allowing us to develop a set of expectations for using this method to identify similar features in other interior pueblo rooms.

El Radar de Penetración Terrestre (RPT) es un método común en la cartografía de yacimientos arqueológicos en el suroeste de Estados Unidos. Una aplicación menos utilizada de este método es el estudio de espacios arquitectónicos dentro de comunidades indígenas grandes para mapear elementos que estén correlacionados en función y uso con el abandono de espacios específicos. En Chaco Canyon, el método RPT se utilizó en una habitación (Room 28) localizada al interior de Pueblo Bonito, previo a su excavación, para determinar la presencia y profundidad de elementos enterrados. La comparación con los resultados de la excavación ofrece una forma de evaluar la exactitud con l que este método mapea elementos en espacios p queños. L s mapas obtenidos a través del RPT identificaron con éxito tres categorías de elementos en la habitación, incluyendo postes y hoyos de los postes, entradas y materiales quemados. Al comparar la evaluación realizada con el GPR con la excavación subsecuente pudimos determinar cómo el RPT reflejó los elementos arquitectónicos. Esto nos permitió desarrollar un conjunto de expectativas para utilizar este método en la identificación elementos similares en otras habitaciones al interior del pueblo.

Research Article
Copyright © Society for American Archaeology 2015

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