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

The Electronic AtlasofAncient Maya Sites

Walter R. T. Witschey

Science Museum of Virginia

Clifford T. Brown

Middle American Research Institute


Thanks

Thanks

  • Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative

  • Middle American Research Institute

  • Science Museum of Virginia


Goals

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


Typical gis

ResearchOR

Modest resources

Smaller in scope

Geographically limited

Data-constrained

State/Federal CRM

Heavy on resources

Public Administration

Record-keeping

Typical GIS


The electronic atlas of ancient maya sites

Mexico & Central America

Maya Area


The electronic atlas of ancient maya sites

The Maya Area

Yucatan

Q.Roo

Mexico

Campeche

Tabasco

Belize

Chiapas

Guatemala

Honduras

El Salvador


Scale

Area + detail =

Cost

Labor

Compute power

Knowledge

…required for system use

Challenge

Enough detail for interesting questions

Enough resources for the effort

Scale


The electronic atlas of ancient maya sites

Excavation unitwith artifacts

Settlement unit with structures

Region with sites


Digital chart of the world

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

Accuracy Issues

  • Of site location (latitude/longitude)

  • Proxy location

  • Data Conversion

  • Projection scheme

  • Source data


The electronic atlas of ancient maya sites

Sites

Daughter filesOccupationsLong counts

ArchitectureCeramics

ArcviewGIS 3.2

BaseData

(DCW +)


The electronic atlas of ancient maya sites

Main

sign

Piedras

Negras

Structure of

Emblem Glyphs

Tikal

Quirigua

Palenque

Yaxchilan

Copan

After Coe 1992


The electronic atlas of ancient maya sites

Rank 1, 2, 3 and 4 sites


The electronic atlas of ancient maya sites

Uomuul

Chichmuul

Lagartera

MMJ

Chacchoben

La Reforma

Tzibanche

Chetumal

Kohunlich

One-day, two-day walks

After Harrison 1981


The electronic atlas of ancient maya sites

Thiessen polygons

Calakmul

Mexico Belize

Guatemala

Tikal

After Mathews


The electronic atlas of ancient maya sites

Kimball Museum; Birmingham Museum of Art


Result

Result

  • Non-environmental variables more powerful

  • Better cognitive and ideological models of settlement and polity


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