Jarrod Burks, PhD is the Director of Geophysical Surveys at Ohio Valley Archaeology. Over the past 10 years he has worked hard to pioneer the application of geophysical survey techniques on archaeology sites in Ohio and other areas of the Eastern U.S., especially in Cultural Resource Management contexts.  Check this list of surveys for examples of some of his work. Jarrod's resume as a PDF

 


Electrical Resistance survey in progress, Fort Ancient site, Ohio. Jarrod Burks on left running the resistance meter, with Bill Pickard of the Ohio Historical Society helping out on the right.


Doing a ground-penetrating radar survey at the Blennerhassett Mansion on Blennerhassett Island, near Parkersburg, West Virginia

A little bit about me....

I received my PhD in Anthropology from Ohio State University in 2004, but I have been working in Ohio since 1994--when I first started to see the benefits of becoming a fan of Buckeye football. In 1998 I married into Ohio, thus becoming a local...at least by marriage. But, I am loving every minute of it.

Though trained as a dirt archaeologist, I began to wonder if there wasn't a better way to do archaeology than what I was being taught in the early 1990s. Let's face it, archaeology is hard work and it is expensive. I have found that geophysics is a great way to improve the effectiveness of archaeological field projects. It takes a lot of the guess-work out of locating intact archaeological remains, and it can produce some amazing images.

In my free-time I do what a lot of other archaeologists do--what else, more archaeology! In particular I am interested in learning more about the daily lives of those we (archaeologists) call the Hopewell. To that end I am a research partner with Paul Pacheco  (SUNY Geneseo) and Dee Anne Wymer (Bloomsburg University). For the past few years we have been uncovering the remains of Hopewell settlements in Ross County, Ohio, and, much to our surprise, we are finding large house patterns, lots of cooking pits and other kinds of pits, and buried refuse dumps--everything a Hopewell settlement archaeologist could ever want! Check out our 2005 update on work at the Brown's Bottom site.

Surveying earthwork sites is probably my Number 1 passion. Some people collect old cars or baseball cards, I collect magnetic data sets of earthwork sites--and Ohio is rich in ancient earthworks. My goal is to survey as many of Ohio's earthwork sites as I can in my free time. These sites are rapidly disappearing beneath urban sprawl, roads, and the farmer's plow. However, geophysical surveys can relocate these vanishing earthen monuments as long as they are not totally destroyed. To this end, I have started the Ohio Earthworks Project and partnered with a variety of organizations (e.g., the South Central Ohio Preservation Society; The Ohio State University) to help image Ohio's many earthwork sites. Check out the Ohio Earthworks Project website for information.