Archaeological Sensing of Big Meadows

Featured Past Projects

Project Title: Knowing the Ground Beneath Us – Remote Sensing Archeology at Big Meadows Campground 

Project Purpose: to discover and accurately characterize the subsurface archeological and infrastructure resources in the Big Meadows Campground, including potential sites, historic utilities, and disturbances (e.g. trenches, cuts, and fills) that reflect the deep history of the area’s human use. Investigators will use a combination of LiDAR, ground penetrating radar (GPR), electromagnetic resistivity (EM), and conductivity.

Project Goals:

  • to locate prehistoric, domestic sites—especially those with hearths and burned areas—in the campground area
  • to accurately locate and delineate the disturbance widths and depths of the buried historic and modern infrastructure in the campground

Project Impact: Not only will the survey show where significant archeological resources are to be avoided, it will show with some precision where utilities can be located to minimize damage to previously-undisturbed lands—minimizing the physical impact of the campground rehabilitation on archeological, geological, and soil resources.  A surgical approach will allow the park to maximize resource protection. Knowing the dimensions and accurate locations of archeological sites, historic utilities, modern utilities, and disturbances will improve park management decision-making about site protection and how to plan for infrastructure replacement.

Project Partners: Cornell University 

Project Funding: $30,000 

Support Shenandoah

Preserving national parks is made possible by people like you.
Consider supporting Shenandoah today.