| 2 March 2016
Statistical technique used to find Paleoarchaic sites
Archaeology in the United States of America is sometimes conducted in an unusual way. In this instance the archaeologists were working for a commercial organisation known as Logan Simpson who, in addition to specialising in landscape architecture and environmental services, also employ cultural resource consultants who carry out what they call, Historic Archaeology.
Using a technique known as Predictive Modelling they identified an area in Southern Nevada (known as the Great Basin) which was found to house 19 separate sites from the Paleoarchaic Period, which stretched from 10,000 BCE to 5,000 BCE, marking the transition from Pleistocene to Holocene Eras. By studying already known sites from this period they predicted where others might be found.
Previous usage of this technique resulted in uncovering previous unknown human settlements in Wyoming. Predictive Modelling utilises statistical data to predict outcomes and has been successfully deployed to detect crimes and identify the criminals, as well as many other fields, although there have been some spectacular failures in the financial sector, particularly in 2008.
Jesse Adams, the archaeological team leader for Logan Simpson, is quoted as saying "The Pleistocene-Holocene Transition is a fascinating, yet under represented, time period in the Great Basin. Through the creation, and later revision, of a predictive model using GIS technology, we are able to successfully identify archaeological sites from this time period on the landscape."
Edited from Western Digs (25 January 2016)
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