Using Geospatial Strategies and Ground-Penetrating Radar to Study Sites in the American Southwest

Author(s): Jennie Sturm

Year: 2015


In American archaeology, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) has enjoyed its longest use in the Southwest. While this method has long been used to locate features of archaeological interest, much of the focus has now shifted from using this technique as a prospection tool to one that can be used directly in the study of archaeological sites. This reflects an increasing sophistication in the ways practitioners process, interpret, and visualize GPR data, which capitalizes on this method's high-resolution, three-dimensional mapping capabilities. Furthermore, combining these data with other geospatial techniques such as aerial photography and high resolution GPS survey means it is possible to associate buried features to surface phenomena, thereby opening up the types of questions that can be addressed while also preserving sensitive archaeological sites. This poster presentation draws upon examples from the American Southwest to show how this approach is being used to study sites in relation to the larger archaeological landscape. Far from being a simple prospection tool, the use of GPR in archaeology is enjoying a revitalization as advancements in the way geospatial methods are combined generate data that can be used directly in the interpretation of the archaeological record.

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

Using Geospatial Strategies and Ground-Penetrating Radar to Study Sites in the American Southwest. Jennie Sturm. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397475)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;