Of Maps and Material

One of the hidden costs in any archaeological project is the time spent preparing maps.  We use common GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software, ESRI ArcGIS 9, to both analyze data and to produce maps for publication.  In fact, much of our basic interpretation of the site begins with comparing our impressions of the distribution of artifacts on the ground with how the distribution of artifacts appears in our GIS map.  By changing the way that our data appears in the GIS we are able to consider a wide range of questions ranging from the overall size of our site, to the function of different areas, to the chronological distribution of material.   

So we can produce a colorful map of over all artifact density that looks like this:

And compare it to a map of only ceramic roof tiles from the site that looks like this:

The concentration of tiles (labeled here as Zone 1) near the excavated area suggests that there was additional monumental building immediately to the east of the excavated Early Christian basilica.  On the other hand, the relative dearth of roof tiles in Zone 2, despite several areas of relatively high artifact densities suggest that there were fewer buildings in Zone 2, but still some kind of activity.

These maps all derive from this:

If you want to play around with site maps, check out our interactive map.  We received funding from the Office of Instructional Development here at UND to expand the data available in this map.  The Geography Department here has helped us digitize additional topolines from the maps produced by the Cypriot Government, so a viewer will have a more expansive landscape to explore.  So, as with all things PKAP, check back again soon!

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