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Keywords:

  • Falling Creek Ironworks;
  • Virginia;
  • industrial archaeology;
  • magnetic field gradient;
  • resistivity;
  • ground penetrating radar

Abstract

A geophysical investigation was conducted at the site of the Falling Creek Ironworks (1619–1622), the first iron production facility in North America. Electrical resistance and magnetic field gradient surveys were conducted over the site of the seventeenth century ironworks. Additionally, ground-penetrating radar was used to investigate areas under an existing roadway. Linear and rectangular anomalies that appear in the resistance data may be caused by architectural features, possibly shops or domestic structures associated with the ironworks. Several low-amplitude magnetic anomalies that appear in the data appear to be cultural in origin, and may be caused by features associated with the ironworks. A number of high-amplitude magnetic anomalies appear in the magnetic field gradient data that are thought to be associated with iron production, including extensive slag deposits and the possible location of the blast furnace. Ground-penetrating radar data shows an anomalous reflection in the vicinity of the suspected blast furnace, which is partially beneath the modern roadway. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.