Archaeological Investigation Using Geophysical Methods To Locate Historic Byram’s Ford Road

Byram's Ford Road

Publication: Masters Theses 7882

Author: Marshall Seth Foster

Date of Publication: Spring 2019

PDF File: Foster-Archaeological-investigation-using-geophysical-met.pdf



Ground penetrating radar, a time domain electromagnetic metal detector and a frequency domain electromagnetic metal detector were used with the goal of locating a section of the Byram’s Ford Road believed to be intersecting the historic Big Blue Battlefield in the Westport area of Kansas City, Missouri. Ground penetrating data were acquired at three sites, Site A, Site B, and Site C. The time domain EM metal detector was used to acquire data at Site A, where subsequent ground truthing was conducted using the frequency domain EM metal detector and an excavation tool. Significant anomalies were visible on both the ground penetrating radar traverse profiles and the time domain EM profiles. At Site A, most of the anomalies seen on the ground penetrating radar traverse profiles were attributed to a previously existing railroad. These anomalies appeared on each profile at the north end of Site A and appear as high amplitude reflections spanning approximately 10 feet across. Many localized anomalies appeared on the time domain EM data, which were then investigated in the ground truthing process. Only old farm equipment, including a fender, a wheel, and many wire pieces were found in this ground truthing process. The anomalies identified at Site C are likely caused by buried utilities, likely electrical lines used for the building bounding the west of Site C. The anomalies at Site B appear at the same distance along each traverse profile as high amplitude reflections. These anomalies are approximately 10 to 15 feet and are similar to those seen at Site A. These anomalies could be due to Byram’s Ford Road, compacted soils caused by construction of the previously existing railroad, or an excavation.