Title

HOLOCENE HOUSE HUNTING: ASSESSING A POTENTIAL METHOD FOR LOCATING ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES IN ARCTIC ALASKA USING HIGH-RESOLUTION SATELLITE IMAGERY

Presenter Information

Joseph Keeney

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 201

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

As satellite imaging technologies advance, they are producing images capable of distinguishing ground-cover reflectance patterns at ever finer spatial resolutions. Successes have been reported of using satellite imagery to locate large archaeological features such as structures or mounds. However, few examples currently exist in the literature of its attempted applications toward small archaeological sites. We addressed this dearth in the literature by testing whether satellite images could be used to locate spectral anomalies associated with known archaeological sites surrounding Lake Matcharak and Desperation Lake in Arctic Alaska. We employed a method using 1 meter resolution, multispectral IKONOS satellite data and digital elevation models to generate vegetative indices and slope. We then stacked the resulting data and generated supervised and unsupervised classifications of the spectral and slope characteristics, and overlaid GIS data of known archaeological sites to compare to the classification results. Here we report on the methods and results of our study and its implications for future archaeological research.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Robert Hickey

Additional Mentoring Department

Geography

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May 17th, 9:30 AM May 17th, 9:50 AM

HOLOCENE HOUSE HUNTING: ASSESSING A POTENTIAL METHOD FOR LOCATING ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES IN ARCTIC ALASKA USING HIGH-RESOLUTION SATELLITE IMAGERY

SURC 201

As satellite imaging technologies advance, they are producing images capable of distinguishing ground-cover reflectance patterns at ever finer spatial resolutions. Successes have been reported of using satellite imagery to locate large archaeological features such as structures or mounds. However, few examples currently exist in the literature of its attempted applications toward small archaeological sites. We addressed this dearth in the literature by testing whether satellite images could be used to locate spectral anomalies associated with known archaeological sites surrounding Lake Matcharak and Desperation Lake in Arctic Alaska. We employed a method using 1 meter resolution, multispectral IKONOS satellite data and digital elevation models to generate vegetative indices and slope. We then stacked the resulting data and generated supervised and unsupervised classifications of the spectral and slope characteristics, and overlaid GIS data of known archaeological sites to compare to the classification results. Here we report on the methods and results of our study and its implications for future archaeological research.