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Arqueologos: Integrating 3d Visualization, Spatial Databases, and Desktop GIS Software to Improve the Management and Analysis of Archaeological Data

Author(s): Alex Kara ; Antonia Foias ; Kitty Emery

Year: 2016

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Summary

Here I present "Arqueologos", a new plugin for the QGIS desktop GIS software designed for archaeologists. While there have recently been many applications of 3d graphics for the digital reconstruction of archaeological features and artifacts, 3D technology has yet to significantly impact how archaeologists interpret their excavation data. This is especially true for individually insignificant ceramic, lithic, and other small artifacts that, when aggregated and studied across space, arguably form the most powerful data at an archaeologist's disposal for studying past human behavior. The traditional way of analyzing these data has been with tables of artifact counts, which are given spatial context by plan and profile drawings. The Arqueologos plugin improves upon this method by rendering excavation units in 3D, each colored to represent something about the excavated artifacts once contained within. The effect can be understood as a three dimensional version of the traditional chloropleth map that has long been a staple of desktop GIS software. This allows a researcher to quickly analyze aggregated artifact counts (or any other metric) vis-à-vis both the topography of their study area and larger archaeological features, in 3D. The software is demonstrated using data from recent excavations in northern Guatemala.


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Cite this Record

Arqueologos: Integrating 3d Visualization, Spatial Databases, and Desktop GIS Software to Improve the Management and Analysis of Archaeological Data. Alex Kara, Antonia Foias, Kitty Emery. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404982)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Mesoamerica


Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America