Electrical resistivity surveys as indicators of site potential: Examples from a rock shelter in Southwestern France and a cave in Southern Albania

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Electrical resistivity surveys have been conducted, in conjunction with follow‐up auger and test excavations, to optimize the excavation potential within two European closed sites. The first site, Pont d'Ambon II rock shelter, is situated on the Dronne River in the Department of the Dordogne, southwestern France. It is located ∼100 m south of Pont d'Ambon I rock shelter, from which late Upper Paleolithic cultural material has been recovered. Auger testing within Pont d'Ambon II yielded results predicted by evaluation of the electrical data, including an area which contains cultural material. A second area contained a large, near‐surface limestone block, which probably resulted from a rock fall. The second site is located in a cave near the town of Konispol, Albania, in the southernmost part of the country. Its cultural deposits range in age from the Iron Age to at least Late Paleolithic times. Interpretation of the electrical resistivity data from Konispol Cave indicates that thick, relatively undisturbed sediments cover the floor in central portions of the cave. Only in one area near the entrance are limestone blocks likely to impair excavation efforts. Results from a test excavation, associated with an anomaly in the electrical data, uncovered a large, carefully constructed hearth. These data indicate that preliminary geophysical surveys at many archaeological sites can optimize excavation potential. © 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Copyright © 1993 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company

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