Three scales: GIS, GPS and digital site and data recording technology in archaeological salvage at Olympic Dam in arid South Australia

Marjorie Sullivan, Peter Hiscock, Philip Hughes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In a research and salvage study over ca 600km 2 of gibber and sandridge desert in arid northern South Australia, mobile digital geographic information system (GIS) technology was used to record a very large number of surface sites – mainly concentrations of stone artefacts. The records were stored in a GIS with landform information and height data, and were used: (1) To test a previously-developed model for the region which predicted that site distribution could be related to specific landscape patterns; (2) To identify sites for more intensive study during a follow-up salvage phase; and (3) To test explanations of the pattern of site characteristics and distribution, based on this large sample of open sites. This involved collecting and using digital data at several scales. Salvage phase excavations and detailed analyses at a much finer scale were related back to the broader scale survey information. As well as contributing new information to the archaeology of arid Australia, the study has demonstrated that mobile GIS is very effective for mapping large numbers of archaeological sites over an extensive survey area with high data intensities, for immediate analysis, and to provide a framework for subsequent detailed site and artefact analyses. Examples used include analysis of broad scale survey information, identification and description of salvage processes, linking regional dGPS and specific site data, and analysing intra-site variations in artefact distribution.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)85-107
    Number of pages23
    JournalJournal of the Anthropological Society of South Australia
    Volume38
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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