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Magnetometric studying of the structure of Scythian kurgans and their peripheries near the town of Pokrov (Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine)Normal access

Authors: K. Bondar, M. Daragan, S. Polin and O. Karasyov
Event name: 11th International Conference on Monitoring of Geological Processes and Ecological Condition of the Environment
Session: Geophysics In Engineering Geology, Soil Science, Archaeology
Publication date: 19 March 2018
DOI: 10.3997/2214-4609.201800089
Organisations: EAGE
Language: English
Info: Extended abstract, PDF ( 6.76Mb )
Price: € 20

High-resolution magnetic measurements were carried out on the kurgan burial ground of Scythian time near the town of Pokrov (until 2016 in Ordzhonikidze) of Dnepropetrovsk region. The measurements were performed using an installation of two cesium magnetometers fixed to a non-magnetic frame at the distance of 0.5 m from each other. A single kurgan of round shape with a diameter of 38 m, and height of 0,4 m visually stood out in the survey area with a length of 220 m, width of 50 m. According to the results of magnetometry, ten anomalies were identified, supposedly associated with kurgans. Five of them were excavated in the field campaign of 2017. One was connected with the ‘empty’ ring ditch of Scythian time, four - with kurgan burials, under the mounds of which catacombs were unearthed. The ditch was found around the largest kurgan, the rest of the burials had no ditches, but on the north side of them we recorded magnetic anomalies in the shape of a crescent, corresponding to grooves in the parent loess from which Scythians took earth for the kurgan mounds. Catacombs, ditches and crescent-shaped depressions form series of weak (1.5 - 4 nT) positive anomalies of 1.0-3.0 m in size (catacombs), 1.5 m (ditch anomaly width) and 4, 0-10,0 m (crescent-shaped grooves). Magnetic survey was carried out in the near vicinity of the existing quarry for the extraction of manganese ores, where heavy earthmoving machines operate, creating irregular noise in magnetic field. In addition, chernozem soils on the territory are strongly magnetic. Despite this, high-resolution magnetometry was proved to be an effective method of detecting kurgans and other structures nearby.

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