Landscape Evolution, Digital Terrain Analysis, and the Integrity of Surface Assemblages: A Case Study from the Koobi Fora Formation
Lithic surface scatters comprise a large proportion of the archaeological record but their value for understanding human behavior is often doubted. Modern geomorphological processes often laterally displace and selectively bias surface assemblages of artifacts. The predictable effects of displacement on the condition, weathering and size distributions of lithic assemblages is better understood. While topography is known to play a role in this process, the degree to which topographic variables contribute to the taphonomy of surface assemblages is understudied. Understanding how topography influences the displacement and taphonomy of surface assemblages provides a potential avenue for assessing the extent to which surface assemblages reflect past human discard patterns. We use digital terrain analysis to investigate the influence of topography on the formation of surface lithic assemblages. The modern geomorphology and topography of the lithic landscapes from the Koobi Fora Formation (Kenya) are characterized by digital elevation models obtained from unmanned aerial systems. Spatial analysis is used to assess the relationship between the modern landscape and taphonomic attributes of surface assemblages. A discussion of the efficacy of this approach for assessing the integrity of surface assemblages is presented. This research was supported by the National Science Foundation, OISE awards 1358178 and 1358200.
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Landscape Evolution, Digital Terrain Analysis, and the Integrity of Surface Assemblages: A Case Study from the Koobi Fora Formation. Jonathan Reeves, Matthew Douglass, Seminew Asrat, Melissa Miller, David R. Braun. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444613)
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min long: 24.082; min lat: -26.746 ; max long: 56.777; max lat: 17.309 ;
Abstract Id(s): 22350