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Anthropology, Space, and Geographic Information Systems$
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Mark Aldenderfer and Herbert D. G. Maschner

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195085754

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195085754.001.0001

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The Role of GIS in the Management of Archaeological Data: An Example of Application for the Spanish Administration

The Role of GIS in the Management of Archaeological Data: An Example of Application for the Spanish Administration

(p.190) 11 The Role of GIS in the Management of Archaeological Data: An Example of Application for the Spanish Administration
Anthropology, Space, and Geographic Information Systems

Concepción Blasco Bosqued

Javier Espiago

Oxford University Press

The idea of collecting all archaeological findings and sites of a particular region is at least as old as the first archaeological studies and perhaps prior to the scientific development of the discipline of archaeology itself. However, the first archaeological maps (cartas arqueológicas) had very far different objectives than those of today. The first example of this sort dates from 1818. In Spain, the Law of Archaeological Excavations promotes the elaboration of an exhaustive inventory since 1941, when the first archaeological map of the province of Soria, compiled by Mr. Blas Taracena, appeared, and in 1945, M. Almagro Basch, together with José Colominas and José Serra Ráfols, led the effort to compile the archaeological map of the province of Barcelona and four other provinces. These six archaeological maps of provinces followed the criteria adopted by other European countries like Italy, Switzerland, and Yugoslavia. In each map, the names of all counties were organized alphabetically; within counties, the names of sites and other archaeological findings, either industrial or artistic sites, appeared in chronological order from the Paleolithic to the end of the Hispanic-Visigothic period (eighth century). The scales of these maps varied from 1:50,000 to 1:400,000. Changes produced by the new political map of Spain during the 1980s, together with the transfer of responsibilities, transformed the “official” archaeological maps into archaeological maps for each “autonomic” government of the different provinces. These inventories had a fundamental goal: an exhaustive knowledge of the patrimony for its preservation and its study. They include a profound and methodical process and contain not only all existing literature, but also a complete survey of the field to locate whatever possible, including medieval, modern or contemporary testimonies. The volume of data is so great that a computerized system is necessary, both for the creation of a database and for the need to have a precise cartography that helps to preserve archaeological remains. At the moment, the autonomic governments initiated are in the stage of data collection for these comprehensive maps. In any case, besides these “official” series, other works covering smaller regions exist.

Keywords:   Office of Territorial Planning )OPT), RISC station, UNIX system

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