9 Citations (SciVal)


Acoustic response from lithics knapped by humans has been demonstrated to facilitate effective detection of submerged Stone Age sites exposed on the seafloor or embedded within its sediments. This phenomenon has recently enabled the non-invasive detection of several hitherto unknown submerged Stone Age sites, as well as the registration of acoustic responses from already known localities. Investigation of the acoustic-response characteristics of knapped lithics, which appear not to be replicated in naturally cracked lithic pieces (geofacts), is presently on-going through laboratory experiments and finite element (FE) modelling of high-resolution 3D-scanned pieces. Experimental work is also being undertaken, employing chirp sub-bottom systems (reflection seismic) on known sites in marine areas and inland water bodies. Fieldwork has already yielded positive results in this initial stage of development of an optimised Human-Altered Lithic Detection (HALD) method for mapping submerged Stone Age sites. This paper reviews the maritime archaeological perspectives of this promising approach, which potentially facilitates new and improved practice, summarizes existing data, and reports on the present state of development. Its focus is not reflection seismics as such, but a useful resonance phenomenon induced by the use of high-resolution reflection seismic systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number445
Number of pages27
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: Thanks to those who assisted with the fieldwork. Peer T. Jørgensen, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Copenhagen, assisted the group’s fieldwork in Europe as a technician. Paul Christiansen and Mathias Madsen, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management assisted with the fieldwork in Denmark. Amir Yurman and Moshe Bachar from the maritime workshop of the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies, Haifa, assisted with the fieldwork in Israel. Timothy DeSmet, Binghamton University, gave insight to labwork in the USA. Thanks to Schlumberger for the Petrel university grant issued to the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Geology Group, University of Copenhagen, and thanks to the Wellbore Acoustic Lab at Texas A&M University for initial acoustic experiments.

Funding Information:
Funding: The survey at Atlit-Yam, Israel, (IAA permit S-688/2016) was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant No. 1899/12). The National Center for the Preservation of Technology and Training and Florida Division of Historical Resources, supported the work in USA with grant numbers P19AP00136 and 20.h.sm.200.155, respectively.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Acoustic mapping
  • Cultural heritage management
  • Lithic artefacts
  • Underwater archaeology
  • Underwater survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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