The Magnetometer Project is one of several projects in the Physical Sciences being conducted in connection with the Megiddo Expedition. The project is carried out by Sonia Itkis, under the supervision of Israel
Finkelstein, David Ussishkin, and Yuval Gadot (Tel Aviv University). |
The Magnetometer Project involves the magnetic field survey of the lower plain to the east of the main mound at Megiddo. The technique is based on the differentiation of magnetic properties between the investigated targets and the surrounding rocks and soils. Applied to the study of archaeological sites, magnetometry may successfully reveal buried remains without actual destructive digging. Remains which could be revealed include: walls, foundations, pits, water pipe systems, fired structures (kilns, furnaces, ovens, etc.) and other objects. Magnetic surveys provide a ground plan of cultural remains before excavations or may even be used instead of excavations.
Recent survey work in the vicinity of Megiddo revealed three clusters with Early Bronze Age remains, not more than 500 m. apart. The Project hopes to discover whether these sites are connected and represent a single, unified large EB site, or whether they are separate clusters of small sites, possibly chronologically separated.
Discovering the nature of these sites has great importance for understanding the process of urbanisation at Megiddo and its implications for the region. If, indeed, the study reveals that the four sites (including the Tel) are connected, it will make Megiddo one of the largest EB sites in the Levant. If, on the other hand, the sites represent small clusters of villages adjacent to the city at Megiddo, this will influence our understanding of the status of the sacred area at Megiddo and its role in the development of the urbanised society based there.