MA Thesis


Data Points or Cultural Entities:
a GIS-based archaeological predictive model in a post-positivist framework

Archaeological predictive models have been used in conjunction with sampling strategies, in large scale archaeological surveys, for over thirty years. During this time, these models have undergone many conceptual and theoretical changes. Archaeological predictive models stemmed from the positivist Processual Archaeology, but the shift from positivism has precipitated the need to reconsider the ideas from which they are based. There is a general trend within the current spectrum of ideologies to support the importance of cultural information in archaeological research. The following research contends the cultural information in archaeological research. This research contends that cultural information has not been utilized to its full extent in archaeological models and that cultural landscapes and sites should not be treated as merely data points, but instead as cultural entities that representative of a rich archaeological record.

This research was completed in December of 2000 in the Department of Geology and Geography at West Virginia University and has been the basis of several presentations and the paper “A cultural landscape approach to archaeological predictive modeling” from 2002 in the proceedings of the 10th Biennial Conference on Appalachian Geography and Geography Education.

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