Multispectral Satellite Imagery for Mapping, Modeling, and Interpreting the Archaeological Landscape of Bandafassi, Senegal
Author(s): Cameron Gokee
The Bandafassi Plateau of southeastern Senegal today defines a landscape in which ethnic identities (Bedik, Peul, and Malinke) appear to be grounded in "traditional" patterns of settlement and land use, and yet oral histories speak largely of movement at multiple scales—from the fission and fusion of villages, to the migrations of hunters and merchants, to the arrival of foreign invaders and colonial powers. Seeking to better chart the interplay between natural environment and social history across this region over the past two millennia, the Bandafassi Regional Archaeological Project (BRAP) has since 2013 begun to integrate survey and excavation data on past human activities with spatial analyses of the relations among sites and geographical features. This paper explores three applications of Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS satellite imagery within the BRAP research program: (1) mapping geomorphological features across the regional landscape; (2) developing a predictive model of site locations for future survey; and (3) interpreting how the physical landscape has historically enabled and constrained the social production of identity, including "traditional" ethnic boundaries, in southeastern Senegal. The paper concludes by raising methodological caveats and ethical concerns about the use of satellite imagery in the archaeology of Africa.
Cite this Record
Multispectral Satellite Imagery for Mapping, Modeling, and Interpreting the Archaeological Landscape of Bandafassi, Senegal. Cameron Gokee. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444237)
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min long: -18.721; min lat: -35.174 ; max long: 61.699; max lat: 27.059 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20528