Satellite Remote Sensing and Archaeological Survey in Central and Western Regions, Ghana

Author(s): Sean Reid

Year: 2018


Humans have inhabited southern Ghanaian forest for millennia, and nearly everywhere there are traces of human activity in the deep past. This paper discusses my integration of satellite remote sensing with traditional archaeological field methods to study longue durée continuity and transformation in both West African societies and the landscape itself. I am consolidating previous survey data and expanding upon them using several methods of archaeological survey and remote sensing with the broader goal of tracing cultural patterns in the landscape using GIS. Specifically, my work has been testing the informed hypothesis that many sacred groves, hilltops, and low rises in the coastal hinterlands and forests of Ghana were the settlement sites of agricultural communities in the first and early second millennium A.D. To do this I used a combination of satellite imagery analysis, topographic information, and archaeological survey to predictively model and test where these sites will be located based on this hypothesis. I will also discuss some of the similarities, differences, successes, and limitations I have encountered while using remotely sensed satellite imagery for archaeological survey, in direct reference to my previous work identifying archaeological sites through vegetation patterns in Sierra Leone.

Cite this Record

Satellite Remote Sensing and Archaeological Survey in Central and Western Regions, Ghana. Sean Reid. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444238)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.721; min lat: -35.174 ; max long: 61.699; max lat: 27.059 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21289