An Android-Based System for Archaeological Survey and On-Site Stone Tool Analysis

Author(s): João Cascalheira; Nuno Bicho; Celia Goncalves

Year: 2017


A recent survey project is documenting new Stone Age sites in various regions of Mozambique, including the areas of Niassa in the north and Limpopo in the south. Most of this work involves the identification and characterization of hundreds of surface lithic scatters among which thousands of stone tools must be analyzed. A digital recording system was required that would allow to: 1) register information of each scatter, including context description and geographical coordinates; 2) do on-site lithic analysis using custom data entry forms and allowing direct input from digital calipers; 3) rapidly organize, visualize and share survey data between survey teams at a daily basis.

This poster displays the application of a freeware Android-based system, composed of two self-authored smartphone Apps with fully customizable configurations and thus usable by other researchers. The Apps use the built-in GPS chips and direct mini-USB (OTG) input capabilities of smartphones to, respectively, get sites’ coordinates and gathered lithic measurements data from digital calipers. The system also allows to easily export site and lithics data into Google Fusion Tables cloud-based service, where team members can visualize and manage data, including photographs of each scatter or stone tool, and create custom maps.

Cite this Record

An Android-Based System for Archaeological Survey and On-Site Stone Tool Analysis. João Cascalheira, Nuno Bicho, Celia Goncalves. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429756)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16249