Putting it all together: Geophysical data integration

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The integration of information from multiple geophysical and other prospection surveys of archaeological sites and regions leads to a richer and more complete understanding of subsurface content, structure, and physical relationships. Such fusions of information occur within a single geophysical data set or between two or more geophysical and other prospection sources in one, two, or three dimensions. An absolute requirement is the accurate coregistration of all information to the same coordinate space. Data integrations occur at two levels. At the feature level, discrete objects that denote archaeological features are defined, usually subjectively, through the manual digitization of features interpreted in the data, although there is growing interest in automated feature identification and extraction. At the pixel level, distributional issues of skewness and outliers, high levels of noise that obfuscate targets of interest, and a lack of correlation between largely independent dimensions must be confronted. Nevertheless, successful fusions occur using computer graphic methods, simple arithmetic combinations, and advanced multivariate methods, including principal components analysis and supervised and unsupervised classifications. Four case studies are presented that illustrate some of these approaches and offer advancement into new domains.