Archaeological Geophysics

We employ qualified geophysicists & professional archaeologists, and offer a wide range of survey options for clients requiring Archaeological Geophysics.


Non-intrusive geophysics is invaluable in archaeology to allow for the assessment of a site prior to development. Surveys of large areas of land proposed for housing development or for road/rail projects can also be carried out to pinpoint possible sites before finalising development plans, allowing preservation of sites in-situ and reducing the risk of delays to development.

Geophysical evaluation has become a standard technique in archaeology and is regularly specified in advance of planning permissions being approved. It allows for improved targeting of any excavation works and can enable development plans to be altered to avoid disturbing the archaeology, thus avoiding costly excavation and adhering to planning requirements for preservation in-situ where possible.

The most popular technique employed in archaeology has traditionally been magnetic gradiometry, followed by earth resistance survey. However, developments in technology mean that ground penetrating radar (GPR) is becoming increasingly valuable, especially in urban areas where magnetic and resistance techniques are less effective. It is now possible to carry out large area surveys rapidly using towed multichannel arrays, which generate 3D information, making it a viable and invaluable technique for a range of sites.

Met Consultancy Group (Met) has the capacity to employ a wide range of geophysical techniques, so can advise on the correct technique best suited for your site rather than simply the most familiar method. Because our geophysicists are also experienced in carrying out surveys for utilities or sub-surface hazards, we also have the capability to combine several objectives into one survey visit, which is usually a more time and cost effective approach than having several different teams carrying out different surveys.

Survey results are located using survey grade technology to real world coordinates. Often, our surveyors are asked to carry out topographical surveys of the area covered to record any upstanding earthworks or buildings that might relate to the archaeology being investigated. Survey reports are written by experienced archaeologists with drawings showing both geophysical and archaeological interpretations. Digital outputs can be generated for CAD or GIS applications, in 3D if required.

If you’d like to find out more about our Archaeological Geophysics services, contact the team today.

All geophysical surveys are carried out according to the recommendations outlined in the English Heritage Guideline (EH 2008) Geophysical survey in archaeological field evaluation, and the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists Standard and Guidance for archaeological geophysical survey (CIFA 2014).