Phased Development of a GIS-Based Archaeological Predictive Model for the State of Indiana
Historic Preservation/Cultural Resources
Community & Cultural Concerns
Under 1 year
Research Idea Scope
The goal of the proposal is the development of a raster-based GIS model of the potential for the presence of prehistoric archaeological sites in the state of Indiana. The model will draw upon existing GIS data for the locations of registered archaeological sites included in the State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD), as well as environmental data layers held by the Indiana Geographic Information Office. Since the available prehistoric archaeological site data are largely for near surface sites, the model will be developed specifically for sites of this type, with the hope that additional models may later be constructed to accommodate deeply buried and historic sites. In addition, data from previously conducted large area surveys documenting siteless areas will be digitized or collected as necessary.
The model will be constructed using logistical regression to categorize areas as to archaeological site potential based upon environmental variables, using modern conditions as proxies for pre-settlement conditions. Due to the variability in the natural environment across the state, separate models will be developed by physiographic zone and combined into a comprehensive predictive model for the state. For the initial phase, a single physiographic zone (the Central Till Plain region?) will be used as a test case for model construction and testing. Once a satisfactory model is constructed, it will then be adapted to other physiographic regions of the state. Finally, these models will be merged into a comprehensive model of archaeological site probabilities within the state.
Related Research (Added by TERI Administrator, April, 2011):
Predictive Archaeological Modeling Using GIS-Based Fuzzy Set Estimation: Case Study of Woodford County, Kentucky; Transportation Research Board 88th Annual Meeting, 2009, 16p
MN/MODEL: A PREDICTIVE MODEL OF PRECONTACT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE LOCATION FOR THE STATE OF MINNESOTA; Minnesota Department of Transportation, 2002
Urgency and Payoff
A spatial model of archaeological site probabilities will be of benefit in the planning and design stages of projects by allowing advance insights into the potential impacts on cultural resources. Having this knowledge early in the decision-making process will aid in the definition and selection of alternate and preferred corridors for highway projects, will help to define project schedules and budgets to accommodate the necessary levels of archaeological testing as required by federal and state laws, and will minimize expensive delays caused by the unanticipated presence of significant archaeological sites requiring additional testing and mitigation.
Staffan Peterson, INDOT