Tag Archives: high pass filter

The final results from Alba Iulia (Apulum)

We managed the final ten squares on the last day completing the area I hoped we would cover. We managed 2.6ha in seven days of survey.  The final four grid squares had an old excavation trench in the middle of them and a sea of mud from the spoilheap being bulldozed back into the hole.

Fig. 1: Stefan and Wyatt surveying in the mud.

I have left the grid on the next image (Fig. 2) which gives you some sense of scale.  The grid squares are 20x20m, and site north is to the right.

Fig. 2: the surveyed area with grid for scale.

In the next image (Fig. 3) I have labelled a few of the features.  One can easily see many of the buildings.  Because of the large differences between areas of low readings and areas of high readings I have applied a log-transform to the data to make some of the features more visible.

Fig. 3: the 0.5m survey with log-transformed data.

An alternative (and very common) method of evening-out the differences is to apply a high-pass filter (Fig. 4).  The downside to this is that areas of very high readings will often end-up with a area of very low readings next to it which are purely an artefact of the filter.  It is essential, therefore, to have several images and compare them so that you do not create features where there are none.

Fig. 4: the data after the application of a high-pass filter.

As well as the main survey with a 0.5m probe spacing (thus ‘looking’ 0.5 to 0.7m below the surface, approximately), we were simultaneously collecting 1.0m probe spacing data (which ‘looks’ about 1.0m into the ground), but at only two readings per square meter rather than four.  This extra data did not add that much more to the survey (Fig. 5), but does make the north-south road show more clearly.

Fig. 5: the 1m probe spacing data, high pass filtered.

There is quite a bit to do in terms of interpretation and drawing-up maps of the results, but I am very happy with the new results which have greatly improved an already excellent set of results from 2002/3.

The journey home seemed to go on for ever, but at least I had some entertainingly-named beer on the way!

Fig. 6: Munich Hell.

Many thanks to the whole team, and especially to Stefan, Wyatt, Doru and Ian.

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Apse mad

We had a very successful day. It was grey and a little drizzly first thing, but true to the forecast it warmed up and turned into a gloriously sunny, if a little windy, day.  The mag team got right into the deep south and have made the mag plot look very tidy.

The magnetometry survey at the end of day 23.

The magnetometry survey at the end of day 23.

The team were determined to finish off the last few partial grid squares.  I think they were fed up walking the 650m from the cars!  The next swathe of grid squares will head north completing the Theatre Field at last.  Let’s look at the area surveyed today.

The area surveyed on day 23.

The area surveyed on day 23.

The band of buildings running from the NE seems to meet the 1955 ditch at a point where the magnetic response from the ditch changes markedly.  Perhaps the ditch was more deliberately filled-in here?  To the SW of the 1955 ditch there are fewer clear indications of stone buildings, but there are many linear features (probably ditches), and “blobs”, probably mainly pits but some of them are very large.  Of particular note is the small square enclosure right up against the town wall towards the south (seen as a black square).  One wonders what this was so close to the third century town wall.

At the other end of the field, the GPR crew managed another 80x40m block of data.  Apparently, nothing much was showing.

The day 23 GPR block (fourth slice, 15.5 to 18.5 ns).

The day 23 GPR block (fourth slice, 15.5 to 18.5 ns).

I beg to disagree!  Another small apsidal building is showing in the data, overlying the line of pits.  There is a large, rectangular, building to the west of it.  Are apsidal buildings the geophysicist’s version of busses?  One interesting aspect of this building is that it does not show in the mag data at all.

The same area as the previous image showing the magnetometry data.

The same area as the previous image showing the magnetometry data.

This is a great example of why undertaking both the GPR and the magnetometry surveys is so useful in giving a fuller picture of the town.  The GPR surveys are getting quite extensive!

All the areas surveyed with the GPR on the Gorhambury side of the town.

All the areas surveyed with the GPR on the Gorhambury side of the town.

The earth resistance team completed another excellent five 20x20m squares.

The earth resistance survey after day 23.

The earth resistance survey after day 23.

We can see some more buildings and bits of road, although there are some very high resistance areas.  One weakness of resistance survey is that there can be underlying variations in the data related to factors such as slope or geology which mask the archaeological patterning.  We can, however, apply a “high pass filter” which attempts to remove the underlying background trend and show the sharper differences more clearly.

The earth resistance survey, high pass filtered.

The earth resistance survey, high pass filtered.

The technique can create some artefacts in the data, but is very useful for bringing out some of the buildings.

Tomorrow and Tuesday are our “weekend”.  Many thanks for everyone who joined in during the first week, and here is to the next three!