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New Geospatial Approaches to the Anthropological Sciences

Edited by Robert L. Anemone and Glenn C. Conroy

Spatial analysis reaches across all the subdisciplines of anthropology. A cultural anthropologist, for example, can use such analysis to trace the extent of distinctive cultural practices; an archaeologist can use it to understand the organization of ancient irrigation systems; a primatologist to quantify the density of primate nesting sites; a paleoanthropologist to explore vast fossil-bearing landscapes.

Arguing that geospatial analysis holds great promise for much anthropological inquiry, the contributors have designed this volume to show how the powerful tools of GIScience can be used to benefit a variety of research programs. This volume brings together scholars who are currently applying state-of-the-art tools, techniques, and methods of geographical information sciences (GIScience) to diverse data sets of anthropological interest. Their questions crosscut the typical “silos” that so often limit scholarly communication among anthropologists and instead recognize a deep structural similarity between the kinds of questions anthropologists ask, the data they collect, and the analytical models and paradigms they each use.

2018. 280 pp., 63 figures, 11 tables, references, index, 6 x 9

Contributors: Robert L. Anemone, W. Andrew Barr, Thomas M. Bown, Sara Burns, Amy Chew, Glenn C. Conroy, Cody Copp, Charles W. Emerson, Michael D. Frachetti, Gregg F. Gunnell, Megan Hart, Cory Henderson, Leslea J. Hlusko, Tyler W. Jones, John Kappelman, Lian Pin Koh, Junshan Liu, Ana Cristina Londoño, Denné N. Reed, Kenneth D. Rose, C. Evan Smith, Zoltan Szantoi, Peter S. Ungar, Benjamin Vining, Serge A. Wich, Patrick Ryan Williams.

Download an excerpt.

A companion website to the book is available: http://geospatialsar.org.

“Overall, the chapters are well written and coherent. . . . The second chapter, though, does an admirable job of explaining much of what may not be known to readers not familiar with current GIScience literature. . . . One particularly interesting idea presented in this volume is the use of quantitative and geographic information system analysis on the 3-D microtopography of dental use wear. . . . Chapters 8 and 9 go further than others in exploring approaches to understanding human decision making. . . . The application of hydro-modeling tools for something other than modeling hydrology is an excellent example of just how much we should be ‘thinking outside the box’ with geospatial analysis.”
—Thomas G. Whitley, Sonoma State University, American Antiquity, April 2019

List of Illustrations

Chapter One.
Geospatial Anthropology: Integrating Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Sciences into Anthropological Fieldwork and Analysis
Robert L. Anemone and Glenn C. Conroy

Chapter Two.
Ongoing Developments in Geospatial Data, Software, and Hardware with Prospects for Anthropological Applications
Charles W. Emerson and Robert L. Anemone

Chapter Three.
Geospatial Approaches to Hominid Paleontology in Africa: What’s Old, What’s New, and What Doesn’t Change
Leslea J. Hlusko

Chapter Four.
Assessing Unsupervised Image Classification as an Aid in Paleoanthropological Explorations
Glenn C. Conroy, Amy Chew, Kenneth D. Rose, Thomas M. Bown, Robert L. Anemone, and Gregg F. Gunnell

Chapter Five.
Taking Virtual Anthropology to the Field: Building Three-Dimensional Digital Outcrop Models of Fossil Localities
Robert L. Anemone, Charles W. Emerson, Tyler W. Jones, Junshan Liu, and Cory Henderson

Chapter Six.
Tooth Surface Topography: A Scale-Sensitive Approach with Implications for Inferring Dental Adaptation and Diet
Peter S. Ungar

Chapter Seven.
Classifying Land Cover on Very High Resolution Drone-Acquired Orthomosaics
Serge A. Wich, Lian Pin Koh, and Zoltan Szantoi

Chapter Eight.
Understanding the Ecological Decision-Making of Tiwanaku Pastoralists through Geospatial Agent-Based Models 000
Benjamin Vining and Sara Burns

Chapter Nine.
Pastoralist Participation (PastPart): A Model of Mobility and Connectivity across the Inner Asian Mountain Corridor
Michael D. Frachetti, C. Evan Smith, and Cody Copp

Chapter Ten.
Modeling Archaeological Landscape Transformations in Early Andean Empires
Patrick Ryan Williams, Ana Cristina Londoño, and Megan Hart

Chapter Eleven.
PaleoCore: An Open-Source Platform for Geospatial Data Integration in Paleoanthropology
Denné N. Reed, W. Andrew Barr, and John Kappelman

List of Contributors