Identifying new quarries as a method for expanding research: A GIS case study from the Mesa Verde region in the American Southwest

Fumiyasu Arakawa, Christopher Nicholson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The study of stone-tool raw material acquisition to evaluate temporal changes in regional sociopolitical organization and economic-related behaviors in the American Southwest is relatively rare when compared to pottery studies for the same purpose. To promote and conduct more meaningful study of these activities using lithic remains, we contend that the location of additional local raw material quarries must be identified and documented. Because of known data gaps in regional quarry datasets, we develop a method to identify additional quarries in the central Mesa Verde region of the American Southwest using a multi-step GIS approach. Our exploratory analysis of new quarry sites uses community-center site locations coupled with a site suitability analysis (a Linear Scale Transformation of geological attributes) to identify future survey target areas. This method of identifying areas that are highly suitable for local raw materials seeks to both optimize our time in the field, while also providing us with additional data points to conduct more sophisticated GIS analyses. Our analysis has identified areas of western Papoose and Ruin Canyons that will serve as the target of future surveys, with the goal of ground truthing our model and discovering, and documenting, new local quarries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102470
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Volume33
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Geographic Information System
  • Lithic quarry
  • Mesa Verde
  • Suitability analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

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