Archaeology and Geoinformatics: Case Studies from the Caribbean

Archaeology and Geoinformatics: Case Studies from the Caribbean

Archaeology and Geoinformatics: Case Studies from the Caribbean

Archaeology and Geoinformatics: Case Studies from the Caribbean

Excerpt

This volume, Archaeology and Geoinformatics: Case Studies from the Caribbean, presents a miscellany of both interesting and informative essays on the use of geoinformatics in Caribbean archaeology. The contributions are based on case studies drawn from specific island territories, namely, Barbados, St. John, Jamaica, Nevis, St. Eustatius, Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago, with Chapter 1, which focuses on interisland interaction and landscape conceptualization in the Caribbean region, being the exception. Geoinformatics is one of the relatively new emphases in archaeology and can be defined as an interdisciplinary field that develops and uses information science and science infrastructure to address the problems of geosciences. In order to achieve its objectives, geoinformatics employs a battery of integrative and innovative approaches in analyzing, modeling, and developing extensive and diverse data sets. Several disciplines fall within the general purview of geoinformatics, namely, geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), satellite imagery, aerial photography, photogrammetry, cartography, and geophysical surveys. However, while these techniques are increasingly being utilized in archaeology (e.g., Allen et al. 1990; Brophy and Cowley 2005; Carr 1982; Clarke 1990; Knowles 2002; Lock and Stancic 1995), most publications largely revolve around North American and European case studies, with scant attention being paid to the Caribbean. By demonstrating that this region— like anywhere else in the world— is fertile ground for the application of geoinformatics in archaeology, this volume places a well-needed scholarly spotlight on the Caribbean.

THE USEFULNESS OF GEOINFORMATICS
IN CARIBBEAN ARCHAEOLOGY

The Caribbean is fertile ground for the following reasons. To begin with, the hive of archaeological activity in the region since the 1980s has led to . . .

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