The Contour team have enjoyed great success in reducing costs for commercial developers. Geophysics is usually the first step in archaeological fieldwork. We use it to create maps of underground features. Where little of interest is discovered, these maps can be used as evidence to inform planning authorities and to reduce the requirement for further archaeological work. Where the geophysics does detect archaeological features, it allows us to characterise the remains so further works can be more accurately targeted and budgeted. This often results in less fieldwork and therefore reduced costs for you.
Geophysical surveys can also be very useful for research groups and enthusiasts. It is often difficult to get permission to dig known sites like ruined abbeys and castles due to the potential damage that might be caused to the remains, but geophysics offers a safe, non-intrusive means of investigation. Where permission to dig has been granted, these will typically be limited very small trenches and geophysics can help target the dig to parts of the site likely to yield the most information.
Topographic Surveys are used to identify and map the contours of the ground and existing features on the surface of the earth or slightly above or below the earth's surface (i.e. trees, buildings, streets, walkways, manholes, utility poles, retaining walls, etc.). Such a survey can serve as a base map for the design of a residence or building of some type, or design a road or driveway.
Within archaeology, topographic surveys measure and plot earthworks, such as banks, ditches, mounds and areas of ridge and furrow cultivation, to create a plan of what exists on the ground.
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