GPR, GIS, Geophyscial Survey


Advances in geophysical and remote sensing technology, specifically with ground penetrating radar (GPR) and geographic information systems (GIS), have led to increased use for archaeological research within cemeteries. Because of its non-invasive manner and high resolution of subsurface anomalies, GPR is ideal for surveying areas with marked or unmarked graves within cemeteries. Using a GIS assists cemetery research by facilitating integration of datasets and projection of spatial data. What has not been attempted to this point is systematic attempting to correlate detection rates of marked graves using a GPR with the time frame of the grave while incorporating the data within a GIS. This research project is the first to correlate rates of detection with a GPR and the age of marked graves with the data integrated into a GIS platform. Greenwood Cemetery, located in downtown Orlando, FL, was chosen for the study. A total of 1738 graves (ranging in date from 1883-2008) were surveyed with a GPR and then paired with probe data to address whether there is a correlation between rates of detection and age of the surveyed grave. Further, the correlation between the rates of geophysical detection to an independent verification by a T-bar probe and the relationship between the depth and age of the grave by decade were examined. Finally, the problem of collating the relevant survey data was addressed by using a GIS for data integration. The results of the geophysical survey show a correlation between ages of graves and rates of detection. Older graves were detected less with a GPR compared to higher detection rates of more recent graves. The results also support the utility of pairing GPR with probe data for independent verification of findings but show no relationship between ages of grave and depth of burial. Finally, the integration of the survey data to a GIS helps to address the issue of data storage and management, the accuracy of the spatial data, and the ability of the data to be viewed and queried in meaningful ways.


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Graduation Date



Schultz, John


Master of Arts (M.A.)


College of Sciences



Degree Program









Release Date

February 2010

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Included in

Anthropology Commons