Surveys in Geophysics

, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 1239–1262 | Cite as

Archaeogeophysical-Based Approach for Inca Archaeology: Overview and one operational application

  • Nicola MasiniEmail author
  • Luigi Capozzoli
  • Gerardo Romano
  • Dominika Sieczkowska
  • Maria Sileo
  • Jose Bastante
  • Fernando Astete Victoria
  • Mariusz Ziolkowski
  • Rosa Lasaponara


Even if, in recent decades, the use of remote sensing technologies (from satellite, aerial and ground) for archaeology is stepping into its golden age, in Southern America geophysics for preventive archaeology is more recent and less used than in Europe, Central America and Middle East. In this paper, we provide a brief overview and show the preliminary results obtained from the investigations conducted in Chachabamba (Peru). The archaeological area is located on a strategic terrace overlooking three Inca roads, which served the most important ceremonial centres (including Machu Picchu) of the Urubamba Valley also known as the Sacred Valley. In particular, Chachabamba investigations were conducted with two principal aims: (1) to give new impetus to archaeological research with targeted investigations aimed at improving and completing the site’s knowledge framework; (2) to experiment and validate an archaeogeophysical approach to be reapplied in other sites of the Urubamba valley, including Machu Picchu, having similar characteristics as those found in Chachabamba.


Archaeo-geophysics Ground penetrating radar Geomagnetometry Chachabamba Inca archaeology 



The research was funded by the National Science Centre of Poland (Grant OPUS nr UMO-2015/19/B/HS3/03557). We acknowledge also the support and funding from Italian of CNR and Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Author Contributions

N. M. conceived and directed archaeogeophysical investigations, wrote Sects. 1 and 5, coordinated Sects. 3 and 4, contributed to Sect. 4 for archaeogeophysical interpretation; L.C. acquired and processed GPR data and wrote Sect. 3.2.1 and contributed to Sect. 4 with particular reference to GPR results discussion; G.R. acquired and processed MAG data, wrote Sects. 3.2.2, contributed to Sect. 4 with particular reference to GPR results discussion. M. S. contributed to GPR and MAG data acquisition, wrote Sect. 2.2; D.S. contributed to Sect. 2, with particular reference to state-of-the art of investigations, and the archaeological interpretation in Sect. 4; F.A., J.B., M.Z. contributed to Sect. 2 with particular reference to state-of-the art of investigations, R.L. revised the whole paper, wrote with N.M. Sect. 1, contributed to Sects. 4 and 5.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Masini
    • 1
    Email author
  • Luigi Capozzoli
    • 2
  • Gerardo Romano
    • 3
  • Dominika Sieczkowska
    • 4
  • Maria Sileo
    • 1
  • Jose Bastante
    • 5
  • Fernando Astete Victoria
    • 6
  • Mariusz Ziolkowski
    • 4
  • Rosa Lasaponara
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Archaeological and Monumental HeritageNational Research Council C.da Santa LojaTito ScaloItaly
  2. 2.Institute of Methodologies for Environmental AnalysisNational Research Council C.da Santa LojaTito ScaloItaly
  3. 3.University of BariBariItaly
  4. 4.Centre for Pre-Columbian StudiesUniversity of WarsawWarsawPoland
  5. 5.Programa de Investigaciones Arqueologicas e Interdisciplinarias en el Santuario Historico de Machu PicchuMinisterio de Cultura CuscoCuscoPeru
  6. 6.Santuario Historico de Machu PicchuMinisterio de Cultura CuscoCuscoPeru

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