Causeway Mapping

Ashley Krauss
Michael Oristaglio
Start Date: 
January, 2015

I. Introduction:

Remote sensing can provide valuable insight into the distribution of environmental resources, and the settlement patterns of ancient communities. Near surface remote sensing methods, such as Ground Penetrating Radar, GPR can provide information about the extent of archaeological sites. GPR can be used to detect subsurface anomalies that can play a role in deciding where to excavate.

This directed reading proposes a multiscalar examination of Cotzumalhuapa, also known as the Cotzumalhuapa Nuclear Zone, or CNZ. The primary objective of this study will be to process GPR survey data collected in January 2015, and to identify significant archaeological features of the subsurface. A methodological consideration and comparison of GPR survey collection methods will permit for an understanding and evaluation of geophysical remote sensing techniques.

  1. CNZ, Guatemala:
    The primary focus of this directed reading will be processing GPR survey carried out by Yale University with the Sensors and Software 250 MHZ Noggin 2 system at CNZ, Guatemala between January 3 and January 11, 2015. The purpose of the most recent 2015 GPR survey was to investigate the areas surrounding monument 81, and an exposed causeway. The objectives of this directed reading will be to process the GPR data collected this January and to locate the data with a multiscalar approach that combines satellite and near surface remote sensing. A multiscalar approach will permit an understanding of the organization and distribution of settlement and structural groups at CNZ.
  2. Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico:
    The second case study will consist of GPR survey data collected in 1997 at the Great Terrace of the Great Platform of Chichen Itza. The subsequent excavation of this area in 2009 will offer insight into the accuracy and limitations of GPR survey to predict subsurface architectural features.

II. Purpose:

The purpose of this directed reading will be to process and compare GPR survey carried out at three Mesoamerican archaeological sites, with different environmental conditions. The multiscalar approach taken in this study will utilize the YUAL laboratory facilities and the Yale Center for Earth Observation, CEO.

The directed reading will not only examine the effectiveness of GPR survey in different regions with different soil types but will permit an understanding of the archaeological landscape through consideration of satellite remote sensing data. This will enhance an understanding of the settlement of CNZ.

III. Methods:

Standard acquisition parameters will be compared between data sets.