Three-Dimensional Mapping of Archaeological and Sedimentary Deposits with Ground-penetrating Radar at Saruq al-Hadid, Dubai, United Arab Emirates



A three-dimensional model of aeolian deposits interleaved with layers of cultural materials was created from the results of a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey at Saruq al Hadid, a multiperiod archaeological site located on the eastern fringe of the Rub al-Khali desert in the United Arab Emirates. Results from this survey provide some context for artefacts collected in prior excavations and offer valuable insight into the physical processes that shaped the present manifestation of the site. Concentrations of artefacts within the dune deposits and the possible footprints of architectural installations have been located through the examination of two-dimensional time slices and three-dimensional depictions of isosurfaces. A three-dimensional model of the dune interior, paired with absolute dates from related excavations, illustrates a history of occupation and sediment accumulation recorded at Saruq al-Hadid that is consistent with chronologies of environmental change and settlement proposed elsewhere for the third through first millennia bce. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.