Using GIS Modeling to Solve Real-World Archaeological Problems

Kelsey M Reese, Kathryn Harris, Jade d'Alpoim Guedes


The theme “Oceans of Data” is appropriate in addressing a fundamental disparity between modeling and the empirical world. Data is collected from every archaeological project, public or private, and stored with the intent of utilizing the myriad of information to solve a future question—whether it broad-scale or finite. However many in the realm of dirt-archaeology are wary of using large-scale analyses that utilize computer modeling, and further wary to apply the results as legitimate answers for archaeological problems. This session aims to address those issues and provide several case studies in which large data is utilized by geographic information systems, network analysis, and other statistical analyses to help answer real-world archaeological problems, in a manner that is sufficient to withstand academic scrutiny, and present the range of computing power in geographic and spatial analyses that can be utilized by the larger archaeological discipline.