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First Trial Geophysical Surveys at Kintampo Open-Air Sites: Results, Recommendations, Research Prospects

In: Journal of African Archaeology
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  • 1 Archaeoscan – Geophysical Prospecting, Frankfurt/M.
  • | 2 German Archaeological Institute, Berlin
  • | 3 University of Ghana (Legon), Dept. of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, Accra
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Abstract

Within the scope of a short-term pilot study, the authors conducted trial geophysical surveys at two sites of the late Holocene food-producing Kintampo Complex (ca. 2100-1400 BC) in northern Ghana. Overall goal of research was an evaluation of the potential of employing geophysical prospecting to map the subsurface extent of Kintampo open-air settlements. From an archaeological viewpoint, the results of the surveys were satisfactory but not outstanding in view of post-depositional disturbances at the locations. Based on that knowledge, we argue for the need of developing a systematic archaeological reconnaissance and research program for locating new and virtually undisturbed open-air Kintampo sites. We maintain that such a preliminary measure will be crucial both for investigating hitherto neglected research issues such as Kintampo settlement pattern and landscape exploitation as well as allowing geophysical technologies to fully evolve as central explorative tools in regard to settlement-related spatial questions.

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