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Archaeological Crew Finds Success With SCOST

by User Not Found | Jul 12, 2013

Are you familiar with Dakota Technologies’ Soil Color Optical Screening Tool (SCOST)? This tool works the same as the UVOST and TarGOST, but it’s designed for detecting soil color in a variety of applications. In fact, the Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) Department of Anthropology and Earth Science has written a research article about its ability to determine RGB and Munsell color values on an archaeological site.

MSUM’s archaeological survey took place on the Biersterfeldt site, located about 43 miles southwest of Fargo, North Dakota. According to previous documents from excavations conducted in 1938, the 1.75-hectare site contained more than 60 earth lodges once used by the Cheyenne people. The team used a variety of tools, including the SCOST, to determine the accuracy of the previous maps and determine the site’s current state of preservation.

The team from MSUM deployed the SCOST in four areas. Two of these areas were unplowed, so the lodges were visible from the surface. The other two areas had been filled in by plowing, so none of the historic features could be seen from the surface. At the end of the experiment, the team was especially impressed at the SCOST’s ability to screen the plowed areas and get an accurate depiction of the subsurface. It also concluded that the SCOST has great potential for use in archaeological exploration, thanks to its ability to accurately determine color contrast at greater depths than other tools allowed.

To read the official abstract or purchase the full research article, click here .

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