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Mapping the Mines: Simulating Transit Routes between Mining Centers in the Colonial Andes with GIS

Author(s): Terren Proctor ; Steven A. Wernke

Year: 2017

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Least cost path has been the method most commonly employed by archaeologists in attempts to determine routes from one site to another. This is due to the relative ease of use of this particular tool, as well as because of the parsimonious logic of this approach. The tool is also particularly useful where material remains of roads are no longer visible. However, the use of network analysis provides a more realistic possible route by taking into account known possible paths. Network analysis provides an alternative mode of simulating routes as it utilizes previously defined paths as the basis for its analysis. This method of route reconstruction is used less frequently, in large part in the face of insufficient data on probable paths. However, in many cases, data on ancient routes is available to archaeologists in the form of survey or technical reports. This study aims to compare the relative effectiveness of least cost path analysis and network analysis in extrapolating the most plausible route between Huancavelica and Potosí in the 17th century, using available data on the Qhapaq Ñan.

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Mapping the Mines: Simulating Transit Routes between Mining Centers in the Colonial Andes with GIS. Terren Proctor, Steven A. Wernke. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430722)


andes Gis Mining

Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17172

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