Geospatial Analysis of Cedar Mesa (Utah) Settlement Patterns
McGill, Kendall A.
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Settlement pattern analyses published by Matson, Lipe, and Haase (1988) contributed basic understandings of the distribution of the many small dispersed sites in the Cedar Mesa area of SE Utah, and of the environmental factors that influenced these settlement behaviors. This project applies geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing techniques to supplement their settlement pattern study and gain additional insight into Ancestral Pueblo occupation of the region. Processing and analyzing satellite imagery produced maps of individual environmental characteristics believed to be influential in site selection. Overlaying resulting maps with archaeological site data discerned associations between environmental factors and site location. Using combinations of maps and locations of necessities (e.g. water source), a cost-path analysis identified favorable settlement regions. Future comparison of the cost-path output and recorded site locations will serve as the foundation for developing a predictive model of site locations on Cedar Mesa.