Landscape Use in Southeastern Ethiopia

Author(s): Kristina Whitney

Year: 2017


The widespread availability of satellite data has opened up parts of the world that have long been inaccessible for archaeological research. One such area is the border between Ethiopia and Somalia, which has been embroiled in civil conflicts for the past 30 years. As such, little is known about the cultural heritage of southeastern Ethiopia and the greater Somalia region. This project shows how using geographic information systems (GIS) as a form of initial survey can reveal substantial results while minimizing personal risk to the researcher and maintaining cost effectiveness. The research goal was to understand how modern villages and surface anomalies relate to each other and to the landscape through analyzing satellite imagery at a scale of 1.19 m per pixel. Topographic features, such as drainages and landscape position, were analyzed in relation to identified villages and surface anomalies to analyze continuity in landscape patterning. This information was then used to estimate the length of time these anomalies may have been present on the landscape with three models. Even though ethnographic data are sparse, I conclude that longer estimates of habitation by pastoral groups in southeastern Ethiopia fit with the known data.

Cite this Record

Landscape Use in Southeastern Ethiopia. Kristina Whitney. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432016)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15629