Application of resistivity method for archaeological site investigation at Sungai Mas, Kuala Muda, Kedah

Author : Abdul Rahim Samsudin and Umar Hamzah
Publication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia
Page : 127-134
Volume Number : 38
Year : 1995

Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 38, Dec. 1995, pp. 127 – 134

Application of resistivity method for archaeological site investigation at Sungai Mas, Kuala Muda, Kedah


Department of Geology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor D.E.


Abstract: A geophysical survey using geoelectrical profiling technique was conducted at Sungai Mas, Kuala Muda, Kedah which since 1980 has produced a number of important and interesting artifacts of archaeological significance. Archaeological survey team from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and the Museum Department have excavated and revealed several remains of low mounds of laterite block and brick foundations for structure in the village. Geoelectrical measurements employing dipole-dipole array were performed along ten parallel lines located 10-15 metres apart and cover an area with dimensions of 100 x 100 sq. metres. The electrode spacing of 1 m was used with transmitter-receiver separation (N) ranging from 1 to 6 m. Each measured value was plotted at the intersection of two 45-degree lines through centres of the dipoles. The measurements resulted in the preparation of ten resistivity pseudosections and six isoresistivity maps which indicate variation of resistivity at different depths of investigations. The isoresistivity maps for N = 1, 2, 3 and 4 suggest that there are at least four anomalies of high resistivity or four probable locations of shallow buried artifacts with depths ranging from 1 to 2.5 metres. Two or possibly five more anomalies are observed in the isoresistivity maps for N = 5 and 6. These anomalies are possibly related to artifacts buried at much deeper level below surface. The shallow anomalies appear to coincide well with the locations of the uncovered artifacts. These good correlations demonstrate that the resistivity method can be successfully applied for delineating the archaeological material in the study area.