Site Exploitation Territories and Topography: Two Case Studies from Palaeolithic Spain

G. N. Bailey, I. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Several methods of relating on-site and off-site data for developing and testing hypotheses about man-environment relationships and prehistoric subsistence economies have been devised since the original proposal for site-catchment analysis in 1970. We review the principles involved in these methods, and emphasize the importance of distinguishing clearly between Site Catchments (SCs) and Site Exploitation Territories (SETs). We propose that the distorting effects of variable topography have crucial importance in understanding the tactical reasons for using particular sites in regional exploitation strategies and demonstrate a simple technique for calculating this distortion. Two case studies from the Upper Palaeolithic of Spain show the potential of the technique. One focuses on the relationships between site clusters, the other explores the relationships between sites within site clusters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-115
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • Prehistoric economies
  • Site Catchment Analysis
  • Spain
  • Upṕer palaeolithic


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