• Archaeomagnetic survey;
  • edge mappers;
  • edge detectors;
  • zero contour;
  • gradiometry;


Various edge delineating methods (edge mappers) are tested on different types of synthetic data produced by calculating the response of a model of buried ancient ruins. The model was constructed to resemble a commonly occurring situation with ruins of two historical phases buried one beneath the other. These weak signals of relatively small wavelengths of the archaeological prospection comprise tough tests for the mappers considered. Additionally, a particular mapper, the balanced horizontal gradient magnitude scaled by the analytic signal is introduced in this study. An example of applying the mappers to real data is also presented. All the mappers proved capable of locating the lateral limits of the subsurface targets but with varying success. Also some of them are very sensitive to noise, rendering them useless for practical application. Some others proved robust in the presence of noise. For a number of them, the varying strength of the aligned maximum values proves an indicator of the variation of the burial depth of the targets. Their merits and drawbacks are demonstrated and discussed with respect to their application on the various types of magnetic archaeological prospection data. Also, relative comparisons are presented. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.