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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 805;

An Iterative Approach to Ground Penetrating Radar at the Maya Site of Pacbitun, Belize

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Bronx Community College, CUNY, 2155 University Ave., Bronx, NY 10453, USA
Department of Geography and Anthropology, Kennesaw State University, 402 Bartow Ave. NW, Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA
Department of Geology and Geography, Georgia Southern University, P.O. Box 8149, Statesboro, GA 30460, USA
Department of Anthropology, University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Blvd, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
(Creator GPR-Slice, Woodland Hills, CA, USA)
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Kenneth L. Kvamme, Henrique Lorenzo, Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 17 May 2016 / Revised: 15 September 2016 / Accepted: 20 September 2016 / Published: 29 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensing)
Full-Text   |   PDF [39676 KB, uploaded 29 September 2016]   |  


Ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys provide distinct advantages for archaeological prospection in ancient, complex, urban Maya sites, particularly where dense foliage or modern debris may preclude other remote sensing or geophysical techniques. Unidirectional GPR surveys using a 500 MHz shielded antenna were performed at the Middle Preclassic Maya site of Pacbitun, Belize. The survey in 2012 identified numerous linear and circular anomalies between 1 m and 2 m deep. Based on these anomalies, one 1 m × 4 m unit and three smaller units were excavated in 2013. These test units revealed a curved plaster surface not previously found at Pacbitun. Post-excavation, GPR data were reprocessed to best match the true nature of excavated features. Additional GPR surveys oriented perpendicular to the original survey confirmed previously detected anomalies and identified new anomalies. The excavations provided information on the sediment layers in the survey area, which allowed better identification of weak radar reflections of the surfaces of a burnt, Middle Preclassic temple in the northern end of the survey area. Additional excavations of the area in 2014 and 2015 revealed it to be a large square structure, which was named El Quemado. View Full-Text
Keywords: Maya; Belize; geophysics; ground penetrating radar; georadar; middle preclassic Maya; Belize; geophysics; ground penetrating radar; georadar; middle preclassic

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Skaggs, S.; Powis, T.G.; Rucker, C.R.; Micheletti, G. An Iterative Approach to Ground Penetrating Radar at the Maya Site of Pacbitun, Belize. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 805.

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