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Prehistoric Roads of New Mexico: A Synthesis of GIS and Remote Sensing Techniques


Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/12042

Prehistoric Roads of New Mexico: A Synthesis of GIS and Remote Sensing Techniques

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dc.contributor.author Heberling, Natalie
dc.date.accessioned 2011-02-08T20:13:37Z
dc.date.available 2011-02-08T20:13:37Z
dc.date.issued 2011-02-08
dc.date.submitted December 2010
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1928/12042
dc.description.abstract The existence of ancient road networks in the Chaco Canyon region of New Mexico is well documented, but roads have also been found in other Southwestern locations, as well as at other prehistoric sites all over the world. The identification and subsequent analysis of road networks can strengthen our understanding of the structure and function of prehistoric cultures. Researchers have begun utilizing different GIS and remote sensing technologies in the study of ancient road networks worldwide, but use of these technologies in archaeological research is just beginning. This research explores which GIS and Remote Sensing techniques best predict the locations of prehistoric roads and to what extent can these techniques predict the spatial and functional nature of prehistoric roads in three different study areas of New Mexico; the Manzano Mountains, Chaco Canyon, and the Salinas Pueblos. A comprehensive methodology for predictive modeling of ancient road locations was created using multiple GIS and remote-sensing analyses on two previously identified prehistoric road study areas. The reliability of the GIS and remote sensing methods developed in the first phase were applied to a group of prehistoric pueblos in central New Mexico where archaeological research indicates roads may have existed in the past, but have not yet been identified. The results of this research indicate that a combination of multiple GIS and remote sensing analyses are needed to accurately predict the location of prehistoric roads. Least cost path analysis and path distance analysis are capable of predicting prehistoric roads in a GIS environment, though to different degrees in each study area. Several remote sensing techniques, such as iron-oxide indices and edge detection filtering also are capable of identifying prehistoric roads. The varied nature of prehistoric roads and the sensitivity of the inputs indicate that it is very difficult to predict road location with a single model. Models may need to be developed reflecting the characteristics of the specific study areas. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject GIS en_US
dc.subject Remote Sensing en_US
dc.subject Archaeology en_US
dc.title Prehistoric Roads of New Mexico: A Synthesis of GIS and Remote Sensing Techniques en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Geography en_US
dc.description.level Masters en_US
dc.description.department University of New Mexico. Dept. of Geography en_US
dc.description.advisor Zandbergen, Paul
dc.description.committee-member Duvall, Chris
dc.description.committee-member Neville, Paul

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