Appendix X

Use  of  I P  in  Archaeology


If the induced polarization technique could be used with the same ease as the resistivity technique, it could be a great assistance in archaeological surveying. Now it can. The MiniRes is a reasonably priced instrument and does NOT require nonpolarizing electrodes. The MiniRes overcomes to the two long-standing objections to the use of I P in archaeological surveying.


The following is a quote from:


A Review of Geophysical Methods Used in Archaeology

Jeffrey C. Wynn


“The induced-polarization (IP) method has been used with moderate success since the 1960s (Aspinall and Lynam, 1968,1970). IP is useful because it can provide information on the presence of disturbed clay- or pyrite-rich horizons in an area where there has been human occupation. Limited field experience suggests that the IP method provides information of greater clarity than resistivity methods (Aitken, 1974: 191). The requirement of nonpolarizing electrodes slows down the field work considerably, however. The method is only rarely used now because of this time constraint and the cost of necessary sophisticated electronic equipment.”


Aspinall, A., and Lynam, J.T. (1968). Induced polarization as a technique for archaeological surveying. Prospezioni Archeologiche 3, 91-93.


Aspinall, A., and Lynam, J.T. (1970), An induced polarization instrument for the detection of near-surface features. Prospezioni Archeologiche,  vol. 5, pp. 67-75.

Aitken, M.J. (1974). Physics and archaeology, 2nd edition. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 286 pp.


In addition to disturbed soil, the IP survey can often detect buried metal objects of rather small size; objects difficult or impossible to detect by the resistivity method. See the survey presented in Appendix M

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