CAST Helps Identify Possible Archeological Sites, International Research Team Publishes Findings

The BosLand team worked with SPARC staff at the CAST lab to evaluate the satellite imagery classification to locate probable new hilltop and open-air sites, which were then validated with field surveys.
Vance Green

The BosLand team worked with SPARC staff at the CAST lab to evaluate the satellite imagery classification to locate probable new hilltop and open-air sites, which were then validated with field surveys.

A research team at the University of Arkansas, in conjunction with researchers from University of Colorado-Boulder, Universität zu Köln (University of Cologne) and University of Botswana, recently published findings from two projects that helped identify probable archeological sites of interest focused on the precolonial cities and kingdoms that arose in the African interior around the 1st millennium A.D.

The article, “Toward Archaeological Predictive Modeling in the Bosutswe Region of Botswana: Utilizing Multispectral Satellite Imagery to Conceptualize Ancient Landscapes,” was published in Vol. 54 of the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology.

In the article, the authors describe how they used an algorithm to classify satellite imagery into 60 different categories and then interpreted the categories to identify the probable archeological sites of interest.

This research is part of an ongoing collaboration between the National Science Foundation-funded Spatial Archaeometry Research Collaborations (SPARC) program at the U of A’s Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST), and the Bosutswe Landscapes Regional Survey (BosLand) team.

The BosLand team worked with SPARC staff at the CAST lab to evaluate the satellite imagery classification to locate the probable new hilltop and open-air sites, which were then validated with field surveys.

In summer 2017, SPARC supported the BosLand team in the project, "Bosutswe Landscapes Regional Survey: Building a Predictive GIS Model of Archaeological Sites in the African Interior."

This built off of a previous 2014 SPARC award, "Bosutswe Landscapes: Exploring early African towns through geophysics and photogrammetry."

The BosLand team and SPARC collaborators include University of Colorado-Boulder’s Carla Klehm, Universität zu Köln’s Christopher Kiahtipes and University of Botswana’s Sarah Mothulatshipi, as well as the U of A’s Adam Barnes, Forrest Follett and Katie Simon.

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