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Doing Fieldwork: Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems

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Soil Resistivity Contour Map From Mission Santa Catalina Ground-penetrating Radar A remote sensing technique in which radar pulses directed into the ground reflect ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Doing Fieldwork: Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems


1
Chapter 5
  • Doing Fieldwork Remote Sensing and Geographical
    Information Systems

2
Outline
  • Remote Sensing Data at a Distance
  • How to Find a Lost Spanish Mission
  • Cerén The New World Pompeii?
  • The Potential and Limitations of Noninvasive
    Archaeology
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Conclusion The Future of Remote Sensing and GIS

3
Remote Sensing
  • Photographic and geophysical techniques that rely
    on electromagnetic energy to detect and measure
    characteristics of an archaeological target.

4
The Ancient Roads of Chaco Canyon (AD 1050)
5
Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS)
  • A remote sensing technique that uses equipment
    mounted in aircraft or satellite to measure
    infrared thermal radiation given off by the
    ground.
  • Sensitive to differences as little as 0.1
    centigrade, it can locate subsurface structures
    by tracking how they affect surface thermal
    radiation.

6
Aerial Photography
  • Can show features too indistinct or too large to
    discern from ground level.
  • Plants growing over buried walls are browner
    because they are less vigorous.
  • Buried trenches or houses contain looser, organic
    sediment and promote plant growth these appear
    greener.

7
Color Infrared Film (CIR)
  • Detects wavelengths at and beyond the red end of
    the light spectrum and can detect heat.
  • Can record differences in vegetation, because
    plant cover affects the heat reflected from the
    ground.
  • If differences in plant cover suggest buried
    features as in standard aerial photography, then
    it can detect those buried features.

8
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
  • Uses radar beams to locate buried features,
    working on the principle that hard buried
    surfaces reflect more energy than softer
    surfaces, which absorb energy.
  • In 1982, radar aboard the Space Shuttle
    penetrated the Saharan sands, revealing the
    presence of ancient watercourses, along which
    ancient towns lie.

9
Landsat Multi-Spectral Scanner (MSS)
  • Used in the late 1970s, MSS images were taken
    from Landsat satellites and used the infrared
    spectrum (like TIMS) to construct false-color
    images that track infrared radiation.

10
SPOT
  • A French-based satellite imagery system that can
    simultaneously record one or more bands of the
    electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Some of its images have a resolution of only 2.5
    meters and can be produced as three-dimensional
    images.
  • It is unaffected by cloud cover and shadows.

11
Proton Precession Magnetometer
  • A remote sensing technique that measures the
    strength of magnetism between the earths
    magnetic core and a sensor controlled by the
    archaeologist.
  • Magnetic anomalies can indicate the presence of
    buried walls or features.

12
Soil Resistivity Survey
  • A remote sensing technique that monitors the
    electrical resistance of soils in a restricted
    volume near the surface of an archaeological
    site.
  • Buried walls or features can be detected by
    changes in the amount of resistance registered by
    the resistivity meter.

13
Soil Resistivity Contour Map From Mission Santa
Catalina
14
Ground-penetrating Radar
  • A remote sensing technique in which radar pulses
    directed into the ground reflect back to the
    surface when they strike features or interfaces
    within the ground, showing the presence and depth
    of possible buried features.

15
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Computer programs that store, retrieve, analyze,
    and display cartographic data.
  • Every GIS consists of three components
  • a computer graphics program used to draw a map
  • external databases that are linked to objects on
    the map
  • analytical tools that graphically interpret or
    statistically analyze stored data

16
Archaeological Ethics and Remote Sensing
  • In 1987, a Pawnee tribal member donated a
    family-owned medicine bundle to the Kansas State
    Historical Society with the request that it be
    cared for, studied, and exhibited.
  • The use of noninvasive remote sensing technology
    fostered cooperation and goodwill, balancing the
    interests of Native American and scientific
    communities.

17
The Predictive Capacity of GIS The Aberdeen
Proving Ground
  • The Aberdeen Proving Ground consists of 39,000
    acres of land on the north end of Chesapeake Bay.
  • Much of the area is marsh and the sites are
    ephemeral shell middens and scatters of ceramics
    and stone flakes.
  • Unexploded ordnance still litters the proving
    grounds.

18
The Predictive Capacity of GIS The Aberdeen
Proving Ground
  • Archaeologists Wescott and Kuiper developed a
    predictive model for the Aberdeen Proving Ground
  • They used characteristics of 572 sites along the
    shores of Chesapeake Bay.
  • They recorded variables that described the site
    locations.
  • They analyzed the data to discover the best
    predictors of site locations.

19
Landscape Archaeology
  • The study of ancient human modification of the
    environment.
  • From the perspective of the processual paradigm,
    landscapes are places with different economic
    potential.
  • Postprocessualism adds the social and symbolic
    meanings of land.

20
Schematic of the Keres Symbolic Landscape
21
GIS andthe Chacoan Roads
  • Working in a region just south of Chaco Canyon,
    John Kantner used a GIS to test whether the roads
    were linked to the economic or symbolic aspects
    of the desert landscape.
  • If the roads were for purely economic purposes,
    they should follow the path of least resistance
    between villages.

22
GIS andthe Chacoan Roads
  • Kantner asked the GIS to find the easiest walking
    route between settlements connected by roads.
  • Kantner found that the Chacoan roads do not
    follow the path of least resistance.
  • Perhaps they were religious paths some lead
    directly to places on the landscape that are
    prominent in modern Puebloan religion.
  • Perhaps they helped integrate the small far-flung
    pueblos with the Great Houses in Chaco Canyon.

23
Quick Quiz
24
  • 1. Which of the following is a remote sensing
    technique?
  • Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS)
  • Aerial Photography
  • Color Infrared Film (CIR)
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
  • All of the above.

25
Answer E
  • Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS),
    aerial photography, Color Infrared Film (CIR) and
    Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) are all remote
    sensing techniques. Others include the Landsat
    Multi-Spectral Scanner (MSS) , SPOT, Proton
    Precession Magnetometer and Ground-penetrating
    Radar.

26
  • 2. ________ _________ is the study of ancient
    human modification of the environment.

27
Answer Landscape archaeology
  • Landscape archaeology is the study of ancient
    human modification of the environment

28
  • 3. Archaeologist Kanter wasnt surprised to
    learn that the GIS proved the Chacoan roads
    followed the easiest walking route between
    settlements.
  • True
  • False

29
Answer B. False
  • Kantner found that the Chacoan roads do not
    follow the easiest walking route between
    settlements.
  • The roads may have been religious paths, or
    helped integrate the small far-flung pueblos with
    the Great Houses in Chaco Canyon.
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