Publication Date


Committee Chair

Mark P. Kumler, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Mona Charles, M.A.
Robert Booth


Archaeology is a spatial discipline, which is why using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis is a powerful tool for archaeological applications. In the past, the use of GIS by archaeologists consisted of site location prediction, or related applications covering large areas. This project is concentrated on a single site in southwestern Colorado, known as the Darkmold Site. The purpose of this project is to amass data collected from the site, convert it to digital format to be used in the ArcGIS software made by ESRI, and return it to the client in a form that can be updated and maintained through future field seasons. Converting the data is no small task because in the field data is recorded on paper forms and collected using a Total Station. However, neither of these collection methods imports easily into the software. The data assemblage of this project involves the creation of a personal geodatabase to store the data, and manipulation and conversion of files into accepted formats. The three dimensional surface models are the results of interpolating the ground surface elevation of the site after each year of excavation. Briefly, the methodology for creating the surface models involves creating Triangulated Irregular Network (TIN) surfaces from point and line data, and converting the TIN to a raster surface. This project also includes a discussion on relating data of spatial tables to standalone tables, which is basic to GIS, to allow for simultaneous querying of the data in the GIS. The importance of this project to the use of GIS in archaeology is not only in the methods, but in the realization of what is required to build a successful GIS application. For GIS analysis to be successful at the site level, excavation methods must incorporate data collection for the goals of the GIS.


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