Controlled Archaeological Test Site Facility in Illinois: Training and research in Archaeogeophysics - Journal Cover


In 1998 NCPTT supplied funding which helped establish a Controlled Archaeological Test Site (CATS) facility in Champaign, Illinois.  Grant recipient was the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, who recognized a need for further researching geophysical survey techniques.  The CATS facility was created to provide a training and research facility for examining the feasibility of geophysical survey techniques as they are applied to a variety of conditions and differing archaeological problems.  An entry in the Journal of Field Archaeology’s Volume 26, Number 2, whose abstract is posted below, published an informative article on the founding of the CATS facility.   The complete article is available for download here.


Abstract.  “A Controlled Archaeological Test Site (CATS) facility has been constructed in Champaign, Illinois, by the Cultural Resources Research Center at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, with funding provided by the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. The test site will be utilized for research and training with geophysical applications in archeology. The CATS facility replicates a range of archeological features commonly encountered in North American archaeological sites and offers a controlled environment for the application of non-destructive investigative techniques. The site provides the opportunity for geophysicists and archaeologists to work with features of known geophysical attributes in a controlled geomorphological setting. In addition to providing a controlled “test bed” for training students in the use of geophysical techniques, the CATS facility will be available for research in a broad range of problems associated with archaeogeophysics, such as the effects of environmental conditions on geophysical expression, sensor type and configuration, data sample density, image processing and pattern recognition, operator variation, and feature variability. The research will contribute to our ability to interpret geophysical data and refine field methods for application in archaeological investigations.”  Journal of Field Archaeology, Volume 26 Number 2 Summer 1999.