Title

Cesium magnetometer surveys at a Pithouse Site near Silver City, New Mexico

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2010

Abstract

The La Gila Encantada Site is located on an isolated ridge top north of Silver City, New Mexico in an area defined culturally as the Mimbres Mogollon region. The 180 m × 80 m (14400 m ) sized site was originally recorded as a dense scatter of ceramics, lithics, and ground stone along with a number of surface depressions that appear to represent pithouses. Cesium magnetometer surveys were conducted to identify hearths, pithouse boundaries, and activity areas outside of pithouses in support of archaeological investigations, and to test this instrument's ability to image these features. This paper presents a characterization of the magnetic signature of a pithouse as a magnetic high in the center caused by the central hearth, low magnetic variability along the floor of the house, and then increased magnetic variability at the pithouse boundary. This characterization was successfully confirmed for three pithouses using cesium magnetometery and archaeological excavation. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. 2

Publication Name

Journal of Archaeological Science

Volume Number

37

First Page

1102

Last Page

1109

Issue Number

5

DOI

10.1016/j.jas.2009.12.010

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