Geophysics Special Interest Group (GeoSIG)

GeoSIG logo


Members of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) and the wider archaeological geophysical community have come together to form the CIfA Geophysics Special Interest Group (GeoSIG). Open to both CIfA members for free and to non-CIfA members for a small fee. The GeoSIG represents the interests of archaeological geophysicists to CIfA and in the Institute's activities.

The role of GeoSIG is to

  • act as a focus for CIfA members interested in geophysics
  • produce documents and guidelines relating to geophysical work
  • promote geophysical work constructively within the structure of archaeology

The group is currently examining a number of specific issues

  • the practical implementation of guidelines such as the Geophysical Survey in Archaeological Field Evaluation (English Heritage, 2008)
  • archiving of geophysical data
  • training and CPD for practitioners in archaeological geophysics
  • training and CPD for users of archaeological geophysics

GeoSIG is working closely with ISAP, NSGG, and EuroGPR to ensure that we keep up to date with developments in the wider geophysical community. The committee also has close links with the Near Surface committee of EAGE.

Join the Group

Membership is free to CIfA members.Non-members can join by PayPal



The GeoSIG committee comprises of:

Lucy Parker (formally Learmonth) (Chair)
Graeme Attwood (Secretary)
Andrew Hutt (Treasurer)
Mark Whittingham (OCM)
Simon Haddrell (OCM)

Advisory/liaison members:
Matt Guy (NSGG](
Paul Linford - HE & ISAP liaison

Alastair Ruffell - Forensic Archaeology group liaison
Anne Roseveare - liaison with BSSS

There are representatives from ISAP, [, EuroGPR, EAGE and Historic England, and plans to include representatives from ALGAO, Cadw, Historic Scotland and NIEA

Find us on Social Media

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Specialist competence matrix

We have recently introduced specialist competence matrices, which have been compiled by our CIfA special interest groups and are tailored to their specific areas. These are to assist applicants and the Validation committee to see where you demonstrate the grade applied for.

Forthcoming events

More coming soon

Previous events

AGM 2018

12:00-16:00 Monday 16 April 2018, Room 15203, Aspect Court Building, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB

The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists Geophysics Special Interest Group (GeoSIG) committee invite you to attend the their AGM in Sheffield this year. Our role is to act as a focus for CIfA members interested in geophysics, produce guidelines and promote geophysical work within archaeology.

This is your chance to be involved in setting standards, improving careers and promoting best practice within the field of Archaeological Geophysics.

The afternoon will include the AGM (including nominations for committee), a committee meeting (open to all attendees) and a guest speaker, Dinah Saich (Principal Archaeologist for South Yorkshire Archaeology Service) who will give a short presentation on how geophysics fits into the planning process and upcoming development projects of potential interest in the area over the next couple of years.

AGM Agenda 16 April 2018

Committee meeting agenda 16 April 2018.

Talking 'bout my generation - Early career archaeological Geophysicists session

The Chartered Institute for Archaeologist’s (CIfA) Geophysics (GeoSIG) and New Generation groups are pleased to be holding an afternoon session at the International Conference of Archaeological Prospection (ICAP), University of Bradford. The aim is provide to a forum to discuss how to begin a career in commercial archaeological geophysics, plus CPD training to improve delegates’ employability. For more information, click here.

AGM in January 2017

AGM held on 12 January. Requesting contributions to keep the group active and were seeking a Chair, Secretary and Ordinary committee members to contribute to the work of the GeoSIG.

We have identified a number of key initiatives that we really want to see come to fruition over the coming 12-18 months and maybe you have the experience and passion for archaeological geophysics to help us realise these ambitions:

(a) Data Archiving

To improve multiple issues regarding archiving digital data including with ADS.

(b) Technical Papers

To remove and/or replace the current geophysics Technical Paper.

(c) Standards and Guidance

To update and improve the Standards & Guidance with particular regard to confidentiality issues, changes in technology and specifications.

(e) Health and Safety

To provide information/advice on H&S with particular regard to unique hazards encountered by geophysical surveyors.

(f) Communications

To regularly communicate with members and seek wide input to proposed documentation changes etc.

If you would like to know more about the committee and their aims please get in touch via groups [at]

**If you are interested in putting yourself forward please email groups [at]

  • CIfA GeoSIG/ADS workshop
    At the end of 2016 GeoSIG held a workshop in conjunction with ADS on the archiving of geophysical data. As part of that event the participants were split into small groups and each took it in turns to write down their responses to the following 5 "seed" questions from both ADS and GeoSIG:
  1. As a data creator, what do I want a digital archive to do for me?
  2. As a data user, what do I want a digital archive to do for me?
  3. Are there any useful tools or guidance on archiving available? If not, what would you like to see created?
  4. The main difficulties I face when it comes to archiving are…
  5. Who drives the archiving of your data (i.e. you / management / outside influences) and how much of that data do you archive rather than back-up?

A spreadsheet of the unedited responses was compiled - these have been written up directly from the group notes made on the day. There were a number of actions to come out of the day which we are now working on enacting. The most immediate task will be a poll to determine the spread of survey sizes undertaken in the UK over the last couple of years. This information will be key to helping ADS evolve the submission process for geophysical datasets, so I would encourage you to participate when we launch the survey.

Archiving Workshop

CIfA GeoSIG & ADS jointly hosted an archiving workshop on 27 November 2015 focused specifically on data archiving for geophysics using the ADS services. Louisa Matthews (ADS Collections Development Manager) and Ray Moore (ADS-easy Manager and Lead Digital Archivist) gave presentations focused on the ADS system whilst GeoSIG committee members also attended to contribute to round-table discussions.

  • Seminar - A one day seminar on Geophysics was hosted with ALGAO on November 2010. Some of the presentations from the day can be downloaded below

AGM minutes

Committee meeting Minutes

Business plan

Business plan 2017 - 2022


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