Top 10 Unusual Finds By Ground Penetrating Radar

1) The Long-Lost Tomb of Ahuizotl

After a strong earthquake demolished a Colonial Spanish building in 1985, archaeologists moved in with GPR to see what lay beneath. They managed to detect many underground chambers and the remains of Aztec emperor Ahuizotl. Ahuizotl ruled as emperor during Columbus’ expedition into the New World. The finding was the first of it’s kind in the area. Spanish conquerors were well known to construct their own buildings over the Aztec’s settlement.

2) Lower Market and Shrine in Petra, Jordan

GPR revolutionised the archaeological dig in 2001 at Petra. Despite there being no signs above ground of any historical importance, GPR was used to test the site. It found many different building structures, including a lower market, a shrine and a pavilion within an ancient garden. Due to the amazing finds thanks to GPR, an excavation was completed and the previously unknown architecture of the site was studied thoroughly.

3) Gravesite of Mohawk Mass Genocide Victims

Brantford, Canada uncovered a gruesome discovery when the ITCCS employed GPR at a historical Mohawk Institute. Hidden under 15-20 feet of soil were the bodies of many Mohawk children. The Mohawk Institute was set up by the Church of England in 1832 and ran until 1970. It seems the residential school had a darker past than most were lead to believe.

4) Entire ‘Forgotten’ Roman Settlement Unearthed in Italy

A previously unknown Roman settlement was found in Vescovio thanks to the use of Ground Penetrating Radar. Included in the finds was the Villa of the Roman Emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianos (AD 52-117) 1.5 meters underground. The villa was found to have a bathhouse with two dipping pools. As well as this, an entire marketplace was uncovered, a multitude of Roman crypts and a 2nd century AD amphitheatre.

5) A Mammoth in Iowa, America

A farmer happened upon an incredibly large bone in one of his fields. Over the years, he finds several more, keeping them in his living room at home. Astounded, he contacted the University of Iowa, asking them to help him find the rest and identify the animal they came from. Their conclusion? A mammoth. Using the latest GPR techniques, the team managed to recover over 30 bones including a femur, multiple ribs, a few toe bones and vertebrae.

6) The Remenants of Pumapunku, Bolivia

Believed by the Incans to be the site of the world’s creation, Pumapunku was an unimaginable temple of mythic proportions. Around 167 meters by 117 meters, the ancient wonder has long been a mystery due to lack of written record, its age, weathering, looting and stone mining all taking their toll on the once magnificent building. However, thanks to GPR’s digital imaging capabilities the long-hidden majority of the structure nestled under the ground has been recreated on screen. GPR successfully mapped out foundations of buildings, residential compounds, gravel pavements, pools, water conduits and terraces.

7) ‘Noah’s Ark’, Turkey

Combining Ground Penetrating Radar and secret military satellite imagery, a group of scientists claim to have found Noah’s Ark on Mt. Ararat, Turkey. Two large pieces of the Ark have been reportedly found embedded in glacial ice. Measuring 123 feet long by 24 feet wide, the pieces are 23 feet deep at one end and over 100 feet deep in the ice on the other end.

8) Roman Gladiator School, Vienna, Austria

A multi-antenna ground penetrating radar system was used to find the 2,800 square meter compound buried deep beneath the ground. The huge settlement included multiple school buildings arranged around a central training area with wooden spectator stands. There was also a large gladiators’ cemetery with impressive monuments, sarcophagi and rows of simplified graves.

9) WW2 1000lb Bombs in Germany

After heavy bombing by the allies in WW2, it is common procedure in heavily-bombed parts of Germany to scan for bombs before proceeding with any building work. It was during one of these routine checks that 3 live 1000lb American bombs were found hidden away under a building site. All three were found on the site of a previous BMW fabrication plant at shallow depths. Luckily all three were defused and removed.

10) Murder Mystery from 1832

In 2002, two grandsons decided to settle a family rumour regarding their grandfather. Along with 56 other Irish immigrants, the grandfather had arrived in Philadelphia for work. Offical stories said they all died within 8 weeks of a Cholera outbreak. The family rumour claimed the grandfather had been killed and buried in a mass grave with his comrades. After 7 years of fruitless searching, 1000s of artifacts uncovered and employing a geophysicist – the two brothers finally found what they were looking for. Recovering 7 bodies altogether from GPR scanning, they retrieved the bodies to discover blunt force trauma and bullet holes in the skulls. Further investigation cleared up the family legend once and for all – all 7 men were murdered by local vigilants as they desperately tried to escape a deadly outbreak of Cholera in the area.

Source by Abbygail J Wood

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