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SMU-Industry Partnership Allows Students To Look Deeper Into The Ground

Meet the Noggin 500, a ground-penetrating radar (GPR). The instrument added to the Department of Anthropology at Saint Mary’s University will help students and faculty to see beneath the soil to explore some of Nova Scotia’s most important historic sites.

The remarkable fact about this acquisition is, that the purchase was made jointly by Boreas Heritage Consulting and Northeast Archaeological Research, two Halifax-based archaeological consulting companies. Sara Beanlands, an archaeologist with Boreas, a graduate of Saint Mary’s History program, and an adjunct professor in the Anthropology Department, says that it is critical for students to have access to this kind of technology. This kind of technology is standard in the archeological world, and now the students at SMU will have access to this technology as well.

The Noggin can see up to two meters into the soil and can map the subterranean environment in three dimensions. The Noggin GPR is especially good at spotting “discontinuities” in soil texture and type, such as those caused by unmarked graves.The Noggin compliments the Geonics EM38B, a device which measures soil magnetism and can put together a limited picture of what lies underneath. Now with this expanded toolkit, the research will more accurately tell the researchers what lies where, especially valuable when making the most of time in the field.

To read the full story in the Saint Mary’s News, click here.