GIS and spatial analysis

Landscape Archaeology Research Group

Spatial analysis has a fundamental role in archaeological research as all human actions and interactions develop in a physical space and all material culture has a spatial dimension than can be measured and analysed. This spatial dimension is not just a physical background but plays an important part in defining actions and processes. Spatial analysis, therefore, has the potential to provide deep insights on the nature and meaning of archaeological data. This is particularly obvious for landscape archaeology, which aims to study human interactions with their environment and it was partly developed from the discipline of spatial archaeology, very much in vogue from the 70s to the 90s.

GIAP members have much experience in the use of Geographic Information Systems, mostly open source, but we also employ multiple techniques with a spatial component or develop our own methods to describe and analyse archaeological data. Some of the procedures we usually implement in our workflows are:

  • Spatial data cleaning and preparation
  • Geostatistics, dataset correlation, classification and data visualisation
  • DTM development and topographic analysis
  • Least cost route analysis
  • Predictive modelling
  • Visibility analysis
  • Spatial network analysis
  • Spatial syntax analysis
  • Water movement, accumulation, channel networks and flood modelling
  • Remote sensing, data classification and extraction
  • 3D reconstruction, analysis and correlation with 2D data distribution
  • Time-aware and multitemporal analysis