ESRI Conservation Program Resources:

Archaeology & Anthropology Page 1

(ECP and CTSP mmmembers, sites of interest for mapping/GIS, scholarly papers and ESRI Conference Proceedings, and sites with public conservation and GIS data for downloading) (Under Construction)

Sites of interest for mapping/GIS

(Legend: CTSP sites are coded "c" plus the year of the grant, (cs=software, cm=mac), ECP grantees are coded "e". Many groups, especially newer grantees, do not yet have their own sites and are colored green. Other new groups may be described or supported by other sites) 

Archaeology Data Service, University of York, UK .(The King's Manor, York YO1 7EP, England, Tel: +44 (0)1904 433954, Fax: +44 (0)1904 433939 email: "The aim of the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) is to collect, describe, catalogue, preserve, and provide user support for digital resources that are created as a product of archaeological research." Sections include Data Sources for Archaeologists, Standards in Archaeology and Strategies for Digital Data. See also: Archaeologists using GIS

ArchNet, (University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, General Phone: (860) 486-2000. General Email: Archnet is produced by: Thomas Plunkett ( and Jonathan Lizee ( ) "ArchNet serves as the World Wide Web Virtual Library for Archaeology. This server provides access to archaeological resources available on the Internet. Information is categorized by geographic region and subject." 

Anthropology and the Environment Section, American Anthropological Association . (Alx Dark "Welcome to the home page of archaeologists, biological anthropologists, linguistic anthropologists and cultural anthropologists interested in ecology and the environment."

Resource Directory for Teaching about Archaeology . (Mary Gorden, P.O. Box 44066, Lemoncove 93244, Phone-Fax: 209/597-2373; email: magorden@m) "This directory is a listing of resources about archaeology that are reasonably available to California teachers. "

GIS in Archaeology Resources (Matthew P. Williams, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Texas, Austin TX 78712-1086, Tel: (512)471-4206 fax: (512)471-6535 - direct email: . Links to: GIS in Archaeology Information, Other Geography Resources, Other Archaeology Resources, Geographer's Craft Project, Global Positioning Systems Information and Resources . See also: Introduction and Bibliography for GIS in Archaeology, a graduate-level course taught jointly by the departments of Anthropology and Geography at the University of Texas. 

New Mexico Historic Preservation Division, Archeological Records Management Section (ARMS) . .(228 East Palace Ave. Santa Fe, NM 87501 tel:(505) 827-6347 x531/ fax:827-6497 GIS Contact: Tim Seaman ( "The New Mexico Cultural Resource Information System (NMCRIS) is operated by the Historic Preservation Division, Archeological Records Management Section (ARMS), in cooperation with the Museum of New Mexico. Through NMCRIS, ARMS manages and maintains the state inventory of cultural resource information housed at the Laboratory of Anthropology....ARMS has been in operation since the late 1970s..5,000 to 8,000 new sites are added to NMCRIS each year and over 3000 new surveys are registered.....Using GIS, RDBMS, and WAN technologies, we seek develop a more powerful planning tool, reduce damage to cultural properties throughout the state, allow faster and more informed cultural resource consultations among government agencies, and lower the costs for developers in complying with cultural resource regulations. Although the main thrust of the New Mexico Cultural Resource Information System (NMCRIS) is planning, the addition of GIS functionality will result in a very powerful tool for regional archeological research. The ARMS program currently serves a very large community of researchers and GIS would greatly expand the breadth and depth of that support....The GIS capabilities of NMCRIS will also enable land managers to develop predictive capabilities regarding archeological site density and visibility, and use that information to advise developers on project locations throughout the state. " See their MAP of registered properties .

University of Southampton Department of Archaeology, UK . (University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, England, Phone: +44 1703 592247, E-mail: Site maintained by ) see: Geographic Information Systems in archaeology . See the new paper: "Cumulative Viewshed Analysis: a GIS-based method for investigating intervisibility, and its archaeological application" by David Wheatley ( .

Arkansas Archeological Survey (AAS) . ..."Archeological information is collected and stored in such a manner as to permit an exchange of information between the Survey's Automated Management of Archeological Site Data in Arkansas (AMASDA) database and its extensive statewide geographic information system. ...Using an integrated approach, archeological information can be analyzed and interpreted against the background of GIS environmental data layers that include socioeconomic and cultural themes, elevation, hydrography, transportation, soils, geology, and satellite imagery, as well as localized and intrasite coverages. " 

Scholarly papers and ESRI Conference Proceedings

(Legend: ESRI conference papers have the year, "abstract or paper", and author in parentheses immediately following the title. Other entries are other scholarly papers) 

Geographic Information Systems: Visibility and GIS: the application of GIS to questions of Archaeological Resource Visibility. Jeff Chartrand. Department of Archaeology, University of York, York, United Kingdom..."It has become more apparent that archaeologists need to develop systems of applying `source criticism' to extant archaeological data. Additionally the availability of an increased spatial toolkit (i.e. GIS) and the development of method and theory in spatial analysis, now presents archaeology with new tools for the study and management of the archaeological resource." 

Geographic Information Systems in Archaeology: A Survey . (Master of Arts Thesis By Khalid Gourad. Hunter College of the City University of New York Department of Anthropology email: ) "Geographic Information Systems are a recent tool in the field of archeology. As a complex pattern recognition device that is only useful if correctly understood, success of any archaeological endeavor utilizing it is directly linked to the awareness of its limitations. Via an online survey, the project seeks to highlight the scope of GIS use in the field of archaeology as well as the archaeologist’s knowledge of GIS pitfalls."

Geography's role in archaeology (By Lance Carlson, Florida Museum of Natural History, Powell Hall, Hull Road and SW 34th Street, PO Box 112710, University of Florida, Gainesville FL 32611-2710 tel:352-846-2000) "So many times, people come to me and ask, "What does a college student of geography do?" The first thing I must explain is that the field of geography is much different than the world it is portrayed to be on shows like Jeopardy....Today, geography is one of the fastest moving disciplines, which explains, analyzes, manages, and even predicts! Yes, in some ways geographers are like fortune tellers. They read special types of maps to predict what may happen in the future. In business today, geography is one of the hottest topics. In dealing with demographics, land values, site locations, environmental hazards, and much more, geography is utilized and has a proven track record. After all, business wouldn't use it if it did not produce a level of utility greater than what it costs. What does it do for archaeology?...The next step in geographic technology is to develop a Geographic Information System (GIS). GIS is a computer mapping and modeling program. A good example of this is ESRI's ArcInfo program which is currently utilized by many planning agencies around the world. Many people compare GIS with AutoCAD, because AutoCAD allows one to draw maps. But GIS is different and more powerful in the sense that it can be manipulated by its database, and this gives GIS it's predictive capability. "

GIS and Archaeology: Using ArcInfo to Increase Our Understanding of Ancient Jordan (1996 Paper, Gary L. Christopherson, D. Phillip Guertin, Karen A. Borstad)..."The utility of geographic information systems in the modern world is well known, but their capabilities also make them ideal for analyses of ancient civilizations and they are becoming common tools for archaeologists around the world....Since 1991, the Madaba Plains Project, in cooperation with the Advanced Resource Technology Group and the Near East Studies Department at the University of Arizona, has incorporated an ArcInfo based GIS as an integral component of the project. This paper looks at the ways this cooperative venture has used GIS to further archaeological research in Jordan, including the construction of environmentally based site probability models, the use of an erosion model to track the introduction of terrace agriculture during the Iron Age, and spatial analysis of pottery sherds from the surface of an excavation site. " 

Geomatics and Remote Sensing for Archaeology: Burgundy, France (by Scott Madry ) "An American interdisciplinary team has conducted research in the Arroux River Valley region of Burgundy (France) for nearly two decades. The team uses an integrative approach termed historical ecology, the multiscalar analysis of the interaction of culture and the environment over time. A period of over 2,000 years (from the Celtic Iron Age to the present) is being analyzed. The overall goal of the research has been to understand long-term interaction between the different cultures and the physical environment....The GIS data base covers an area of about 30 by 60 km, covering the majority of the Arroux River Valley and its immediate environs. The current basic raster layers of the GIS data base include: elevation (generated from the French 97 meter digital elevation data) aspect (derived from the digital elevation data) slope (derived from the digital elevation data) SPOT images (20 meter false color infrared) SPOT images (10 meter panchromatic) land use/land cover map (derived from spot image data) geology (generated from 1:80,000 geology map of the upper 2/3 part of the region) faults (from the same 1:80,000 geology map) streams (from the three 1:50,000 topo maps) modern roads (from the three 1:50,000 topo maps) ancient roads (from project information and old maps) known Celtic hillforts (from project information and old maps) data layers showing different distance categories, or buffer zones, from: roads, streams, faults, archaeological sites, hillforts, and ancient roads were also generated from the data above. "

Betwixt and Between: Spatial Interpolation in Archaeology (1996 Abstract, Ezra Zubrow and Jennifer Robinson)...Filling in the space between measurements is a major problem in archaeology, and an obvious niche for GIS. Archaeological data require specialized interpolation techniques because they typically come in gridded or polygonal units of aggregation. The first goal of this paper is to look at ways to use interpolaton to recover some of the information lost in spatial averaging. A second goal of this paper is to make interpolation accessible to archaeologists. 


University of Nebraska at Omaha Cartography & GIS Laboratory .(student paper by ? Olsson): "There are three areas where GIS is being used to research archaeology. These areas are: site location models, GIS procedure related studies, and studies related to landscape archaeology through GIS methods." . Michael P. Peterson, University of Nebraska at Omaha 

Sites with public conservation and GIS data for downloading

All text by the respective organizations/authors, January 2, 1997 

Web layout & design: Charles Convis, ESRI Conservation Program,. January 2, 1996 


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