High Precision Mapping of Human Behavior in Ethnographic Contexts, a New Tool for Ethnoarchaeology

Author(s): Todd Surovell; Randy Haas; Matthew O'Brien

Year: 2017


Ethnoarchaeological studies attempt to link human behavior to the material residues they produce for the purpose of developing archaeological method and theory. Traditional studies in spatial ethnoarchaeology, however, have focused on the mapping of material remains, but the spatial distribution of the behaviors that produced them, the thing that interests us most, has gone largely undocumented and for good reason. Until recently, it was not technically possible to map people in space in a way that is simultaneously accurate, precise, and unobtrusive. In this paper, we discuss the use of time-lapse photography and photogrammetry for the direct, frequent, and high precision mapping of human behavior in ethnographic contexts. We illustrate the use of this method using a case study from campsites of nomadic Dukha reindeer herders in Khövsgöl Aimag, Mongolia. It is argued that this method not only provides much needed data on how humans use space but also that abundant ancillary behavioral data are collected. As such, time-lapse photography and photogrammetry could become part of the standard toolkit for ethnoarchaeological research.

Cite this Record

High Precision Mapping of Human Behavior in Ethnographic Contexts, a New Tool for Ethnoarchaeology. Todd Surovell, Randy Haas, Matthew O'Brien. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430702)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16100