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Preventative Archaeology
in Urban Areas

Using a georadar to survey the urban subsoil allows us to detect its stratigraphical changes and features, which could correspond to archaeological remains or the utility networks (gas, water, electricity, telecommunications).

The depth of exploration that the equipment can reach depends on the frequency of the antenna that is used and of the subsoil characteristics. SOT uses 400MHz and 270MHz antennae, which enables us to reach depths up to 3m and 5m, respectively. Therefore, the use of GPR with either of the antennae allows us to evaluate the extent to which an area is archaeologically affected in the first metres of the urban subsoil and to locate the utilities network before its excavation.

GPR survey render of the Romanesque church in Castelló d'Empúries.


The use of specific software to process the GPR data acquired during fieldwork allows us to obtain a subsoil map where the anomalies produced by archaeological elements can be visualised. These can be viewed in plans, sections and volume recreations, and, in this way, the overlapping of features can be recorded and analysed.

Therefore, survey by means of GPR in urban areas is a fast and non-intrusive tool for the detection of archaeological features that facilitates and enables a fast planning of urban works or archaeological excavations.

Parc de la Ciutadella
Palau dels Comtes y Basílica