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Using GIS to Analyze the Mortuary Context and Taphonomy of the Bronze Age Commingled Tomb at Tell Abraq

Author(s): Maryann Calleja ; Debra Martin

Year: 2016

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Summary

The archaeological site of Tell Abraq (UAE) has been the subject of multiple studies since its original excavation by Dan Potts. For five seasons between 1989 and 1998 a team of archaeologist excavated the Bronze Age site. The analysis of mortuary context and taphonomy can provide invaluable insights into past biological and cultural conditions. The use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can facilitate bioarchaeologists in the further investigation of mortuary placement of human remains and taphonomic processes. The excavation of the tomb - by Debra Martin from 1993 to 1998 - containing the commingled remains of more than 400 adults and children, predated the widespread use of commercial GPS technology. This study revitalizes old data by transforming handwritten documentation into a digital format more compatible with GIS software. This modification enables us to perform modeling of the tomb and detailed spatial analyses. Through the use of GIS modeling we are able to gain a clearer picture of the tomb, thus enhancing our ability to discover patterns in taphonomy or mortuary practices at Tell Abraq.


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Using GIS to Analyze the Mortuary Context and Taphonomy of the Bronze Age Commingled Tomb at Tell Abraq. Maryann Calleja, Debra Martin. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405302)


Keywords

General
commingled Gis Modeling


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