Part of Dr. Matney's research into ancient urbanism and city planning relies on the innovative use of
subsurface mapping technology to record archaeological remains without excavation. In general, these
techniques measure various geophysical properties of the earth (e.g., magnetic fields, electrical
conductivity, etc.). Archaeological remains create anomalies
which are distinct from geological or natural signals and can be mapped with sensitive measuring devices.
Subsurface magnetic gradiometry measures the strength and direction of the earth's ambient magnetic field. Shallow subsurface features of human construction often create distinctive anomalies which can be mapped using a hand-held magnetic gradiometer.
Electrical resistivity survey works by passing an electrical current between two probes placed in the ground and measuring the resistance to the flow of eletrical current caused by the earth between them. Human constructions often create an increased or decreased resistance which can be mapped over an uniform grid of samples.