Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Prehistoric Settlement Patterns: A GIS-based Analysis of Virgin Branch Ancestral Pueblo Habitation in the Mount Trumbull Region of Northwestern Arizona
by Kooistra, Marty, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2018, 159; 10839472
Abstract (Summary)

Prehistoric habitation structures located in the Mount Trumbull region of northwestern Arizona are constructed across a diverse topographic landscape. Several archaeological site reports for the Mt. Trumbull region allude to the exceptional views from habitation structures despite their often non-obtrusive locations. In this thesis, I utilize Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to facilitate the understanding of patterns and relationships among archaeological habitation structures discovered across this exceptionally diverse landscape.

Using cumulative viewshed analysis, this thesis endeavors to characterize prehistoric habitations as linked in two ways. The first is geographic. Are habitation sites intervisible? The second means of connection concerns material manifestations. To what extent do habitation sites share similar ceramics, architectural styles, and stone tools? The research seeks to improve current knowledge of Ancestral Pueblo settlement patterns and determine if the geographic location of habitation sites predicts the structure of their material remains; and if so, would this provide evidence for the existence of prehistoric communities? Based on the outcomes of several cumulative viewshed analyses, I conclude that the placement of known habitation sites across the landscape significantly differs when compared to sample non-site locations suggesting that habitation sites were constructed in areas of the landscape that favored intervisibility.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Neff, Hector
Commitee: Sakai, Sachiko, Wechsler, Suzanne P.
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 58/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Archaeology, American history, Geography, Geographic information science
Keywords: Archaeological landscapes, Arizona, Cumulative viewshed analysis, Geographic Information Science, Settlment patterns, Viewshed analysis, Virgin Branch Ancestral Pueblo
Publication Number: 10839472
ISBN: 9780438420038
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