The electronic atlas of ancient maya sites
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The Electronic Atlas of Ancient Maya Sites. Walter R. T. Witschey Science Museum of Virginia Clifford T. Brown Middle American Research Institute. Thanks. Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative Middle American Research Institute Science Museum of Virginia. Goals. Identify systems:

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The Electronic Atlas of Ancient Maya Sites

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The Electronic AtlasofAncient Maya Sites

Walter R. T. Witschey

Science Museum of Virginia

Clifford T. Brown

Middle American Research Institute


Thanks

  • Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative

  • Middle American Research Institute

  • Science Museum of Virginia


Goals

  • Identify systems:

    • Social, economic, political (& polities)

    • Use settlement data

    • Use epigraphic data

  • Test theoretical settlement models

    • Predict and identify settlement patterns in unsurveyed areas


ResearchOR

Modest resources

Smaller in scope

Geographically limited

Data-constrained

State/Federal CRM

Heavy on resources

Public Administration

Record-keeping

Typical GIS


Mexico & Central America

Maya Area


The Maya Area

Yucatan

Q.Roo

Mexico

Campeche

Tabasco

Belize

Chiapas

Guatemala

Honduras

El Salvador


Area + detail =

Cost

Labor

Compute power

Knowledge

…required for system use

Challenge

Enough detail for interesting questions

Enough resources for the effort

Scale


Excavation unitwith artifacts

Settlement unit with structures

Region with sites


Digital Chart of the World

  • Developed by United States Department of Defense (Defense Mapping Agency)

  • Described in Military Specification: Digital Chart of the World. MIL-D-89009.

  • Mapped at scale of 1:1,000,000

  • Horizontal accuracy  2000 - 4200 m


Accuracy Issues

  • Of site location (latitude/longitude)

  • Proxy location

  • Data Conversion

  • Projection scheme

  • Source data


Sites

Daughter filesOccupationsLong counts

ArchitectureCeramics

ArcviewGIS 3.2

BaseData

(DCW +)


Main

sign

Piedras

Negras

Structure of

Emblem Glyphs

Tikal

Quirigua

Palenque

Yaxchilan

Copan

After Coe 1992


Rank 1, 2, 3 and 4 sites


Uomuul

Chichmuul

Lagartera

MMJ

Chacchoben

La Reforma

Tzibanche

Chetumal

Kohunlich

One-day, two-day walks

After Harrison 1981


Thiessen polygons

Calakmul

Mexico Belize

Guatemala

Tikal

After Mathews


Kimball Museum; Birmingham Museum of Art


Result

  • Non-environmental variables more powerful

  • Better cognitive and ideological models of settlement and polity


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