GIS Illuminates Site Formation Processes: Archaeology of the Fortín de la Perla

Author(s): Kris Reinicke

Year: 2015


This is the first archaeological investigation into a 17th century Spanish fortification whose remnants lie within a dynamic urban slum setting in La Perla, San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Fortín de la Perla does not enjoy protection by any government or cultural agency and its condition has substantially deteriorated due to natural and cultural processes. During the first quarter of the 20th century, parts of the Fortín’s structure and immediate surroundings were settled by poor workers and country folk from all over the island. These first La Perla community members reincorporated what remained of the dilapidated structure as a foundation for dwellings and reutilized building materials. This process is evident in aerial photographs starting in the 1930s. By digitizing and georeferencing historical maps, Spanish Military Engineering plans, and aerial photographs, we are able to distinguish the cultural site formations processes. Armed with this information, we can enter into the discussion of what should be done with the Fortín as it stands today.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

GIS Illuminates Site Formation Processes: Archaeology of the Fortín de la Perla. Kris Reinicke. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397465)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;