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Research project

Water Penetrating Radar for freshwater archaeological survey

Project overview

The lack of investigation of freshwater bodies has been raised as a critical issue in the UK and globally for maritime archaeology. Part of the reason for limited research is the challenging nature of the environment; too shallow for many marine techniques, too wet for terrestrial methods. This project looks to leverage the potential for Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to change this through its application as Water Penetrating Radar (WPR). GPR is a terrestrial survey staple due to its flexibility, resilience and ease of use. A long-held misconception about the inability for radar waves to be propagated through water, however, has limited its application. Recent work has debunked this myth. This project builds on these studies to firmly establish the potential for WPR as a survey method. Through investigation of three Neolithic crannogs this project will test WPR effectiveness and make the process for data acquisition and interpretation transparent.


Lead researcher

Dr Stephanie Blankshein PhD

Research Fellow

Research interests

  • Maritime/landscape archaeology
  • Prehistory
  • Digital archaeology
Other researchers

Professor Fraser Sturt

Deputy Director SMMI

Research interests

  • Maritme Archaeology
  • Geomatics
  • Evaluation methods

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups