Spatial Literacy and Geostatistics in Archaeology

Author(s): Kelly Ervin; Cameron Wesson

Year: 2016


Spatial frameworks of cultural activity can be quantified using a number of geostatistic computations available in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). These, too commonly “deterministic” models identify and display trends within a dataset. Although these results can be compelling, they also pose problems for archaeological interpretation by not including room for the ambiguity and unpredictability of human decisions and actions. Human behavior can be understood by the choices people make, but can human agency be revealed by numerically structured geospatial analyses? Bridging the gap between current GIS methodology and archaeological social theory, this paper discusses geostatistics as a mathematical method for giving meaning to the past, assumptions of the algorithms, and the importance of culture history in such archaeological studies.

Cite this Record

Spatial Literacy and Geostatistics in Archaeology. Kelly Ervin, Cameron Wesson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403428)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;