Guidelines for Phase I, II, and III archaeological Investigations and Technical Report Preparation Prepared by the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office Written by Patrick Trader Edited by Joanna Wilson Preface

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Remote-Sensing Techniques

Remote-sensing techniques are non-invasive means of identifying archaeological sites. They may include (but are not limited to) aerial photography, metal-detecting, magnetometry, electrical resistivity, electromagnetic conductivity surveying, and ground-penetrating radar.

False-color infrared aerial photographs have been used to detect village patterns, earthworks, foundation remnants and mounds. The use of metal detectors has also been successful in identifying and examining archaeological sites, particulary historic and military sites. The use of a metal detector or any other remote sensing technique should supplement rather than replace shovel testing, and must be coordinated with WVSHPO staff.


The implementation of remote-sensing methods should be conducted by persons versed in their use and interpretation. Not every project area and/or site has the potential to produce results worth the expenditure of time and funding to conduct remote sensing. Consult with WVSHPO staff prior to implementing any such methods.

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