Detecting Buried Remains

Sometimes in cemeteries, the presence of a tombstone does not mean the presence of a burial in this place. And the burials themselves may be unmarked. The mapping of burial sites is a delicate task that should be solved without violating the integrity of the investigated area. GPR is most suitable for the detection of burial sites, compared with other geophysical instruments - electrical survey equipment, magnetometer or metal detector. Compact size, high resolution of GPR data, speed of work, and visibility of the final result of the survey makes GPR an effective tool for the detection of burials and similar tasks.

GPR detects not only the presence of metal in the soil, but also on non-metallic objects (stones, wood, bones), as well as changes in the electrophysical characteristics of the subsurface examined, for example, due to density changes. GPR can register a response from the area of the disturbed soil, even if the excavation work was carried out many years ago.

As an example of the detection of burial, a fragment of the results of the GPR survey of the Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin is presented. The Cathedral of the Archangel is an ancient necropolis of the Moscow ruling nobility and contains, in total, about a hundred tombs and burial places. The figure below shows the position of the GPR profiles and the results of profiling.