Unbinding Diversity Measures in Archaeology using GIS

Author(s): Marieka Brouwer Burg; Meghan Howey

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Defining and Measuring Diversity in Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Several papers in "Quantifying Diversity in Archaeology" identified space as a critical factor in structuring diversity and called for whole landscape, regional-scale analyses to improve archaeological approaches to diversity. The capabilities of today’s geospatial technologies were unimaginable at the time but now, the desire to analyze diversity across multiple sites from entire regions is easier to realize computationally. Nevertheless, key challenges identified by some of the papers in the original volume persist today. Of particular interest here is the challenge mounted by Cowgill: we need to understand what diversity means and how the categories we use to compute diversity are related to actual variation in past behavior(s) of interest. This paper will explore interconnections between ethnocartography and GIS and how combing indigenous cultural perspectives with spatial technologies can facilitate understandings of how sites may have been distributed in different "categories" across landscapes. Further, as Hurst Thomas wrote in his chapter, archaeologists need to understand the "strategic decision-making behind the mosaic of prehistoric cultural geography." By centering the experiences of people producing and, importantly, perceiving the variation extant in their landscape we aim to explore such cultural geographies and illustrate our ideas with case studies.

Cite this Record

Unbinding Diversity Measures in Archaeology using GIS. Marieka Brouwer Burg, Meghan Howey. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450510)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -103.975; min lat: 36.598 ; max long: -80.42; max lat: 48.922 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24471