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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 October 2021

Danebury Revisited: An English Iron Age Hillfort in a Digital Landscape

Danebury Revisited: An English Iron Age Hillfort in a Digital Landscape

(p.214) 13 Danebury Revisited: An English Iron Age Hillfort in a Digital Landscape
Anthropology, Space, and Geographic Information Systems

Gary R. Lock

Trevor M. Harris

Oxford University Press

The doyen of British field archaeology, O. G. S. Crawford, noted that “The surface of England is a palimpsest, a document that has been written on and erased over and over again“ (Crawford 1953: 51). Many centuries of detailed observation and recording of the English landscape have resulted in a wealth of archaeological data, covering many thousands of years of human habitation. The need to record and decipher these extensive field data has led to the adoption of methods and techniques developed in other disciplines, including that of geography. Geographic information systems are the latest tools to be adopted in the quest for effective methods of field recording and archaeological analysis (for introductory GIS texts, see Aronoff 1989; Burrough 1986; Star and Estes 1990; Tomlin 1990). The applications of GIS in archaeology can be differentiated according to scale and type, although relatively few mature applications currently exist. Studies that have been undertaken range from intrasite to intersite analyses, and from research-driven applications to inventorying and cultural resource management (see for example Allen et al. 1990; Gaffney and Stancic 1991, 1992; Harris and Lock 1992; Larsen 1992; Lock and Harris 1991). This regional study, based on the Iron Age hillfort of Danebury in England represents a contribution to this growing literature and to the development of GIS use in archaeological analysis. This paper has two main aims. First, it seeks to identify and examine the archaeology of the Danebury region within the context of existing archaeological theory and to refine and add to these interpretations where applicable. Second, the paper seeks to undertake this analysis within a GIS environment. Our goal here is to illustrate how GIS can contribute to archaeological analysis, shed new light on existing knowledge, and enhance our understanding of the prehistoric use of the landscape. In landscape archaeology, there are several well-established themes that are strengthened and augmented by the data handling and analytical capabilities of GIS. This paper elaborates and develops these themes in the context of the ongoing archaeological study of the Danebury hillfort region.

Keywords:   Danebury, Disaggregation, Intel-visibility, Negative areas, Thiessen polygons, Viewshed

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