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Ideal sites for archaeological field work in Hamilton, Ontario Emily Lamond, Madison Reid, Preyesha Tapiawala Earth & Environmental Sciences 3GI3: Advance Raster

The city of Hamilton has a rich history. One way to illuminate this history is through archaeological exploration, which can be expensive and time consuming. Often, can be the most challenging aspect in a project. Therefore, using GIS technology to find optimal regions for subsurface excavation is a novel and effective approach. We will be looking for probable areas of settlement which prehistoric, proto-historic and historic Neutral people are likely to have inhabited, and sites in which structures may be found which date from before the late 19th century. Also important for consideration are factors such as elevation (implying drainage and therefore erosion) and the construction of pipelines, as some of these characteristics may have helped or hindered the preservation of artifacts. Current land use will also be considered, to maximize the practicality of identified sites.

Study Area The study area chosen for this study is Hamilton. This area has been chosen not only because of the known archaeological evidence from the Neutral peoples within the area, but also because of the rich record which exists for the land use until the end of the 19th century. Also, this area will likely be of more interest to the McMaster community, as the study will be local. Given the nature of the investigation, we may find the scope of this project to be unsuitable to the results found. As such, the study area is likely to expand or shrink, depending on the number of suitable locations found.

Model Improvements

Criteria Weighting

Introduction and Background

Straight Rank

Criterion

Rank Rank Rank Sum Reciprocal Exponent

Rank Estimation

Pairwise Comparison

Slope

1

0.200

0.353

0.129

0.195

0.2861

Elevation

2

0.178

0.177

0.126

0.156

0.1964

Proximity to fresh water

3

0.156

0.118

0.122

0.143

0.1648

4

0.133

0.088

0.119

0.117

0.1224

5

0.111

0.071

0.114

0.104

0.0842

Proximity to trails

6

0.089

0.059

0.109

0.091

0.0580

Known post contact occupation in the 19th century

7

0.067

0.050

0.103

0.078

0.0400

Gas & Sewage Lines

8

0.044

0.044

0.095

0.065

0.0279

Road Network (access to )

9

0.022

0.039

0.083

0.052

0.0202

Proximity to large marshes and swamps Near Burial Grounds (during neutral occupation)

Results and Model

While the model based on pair-wise comparison weighting effectively identifies ideal areas for archaeological field work, the way constraints were applied was somewhat exclusive. In particular, only ‘open area’ land use was considered suitable. While open land is ideal, residential areas, parks, and government land could contain some excellent sites. If deemed necessary, the model could be refined to include more land use types, but perhaps identify them as requiring special permissions. Conversely, if a more refined site were required, classification could be adjusted to reduce the number of sites with ‘excellent suitability’.

Findings and Recommendations Using the pair-wise comparison weighting method and the maximum score standardization method to incorporate all factors and constraints, several sites with excellent suitability for an archaeological excavation were identified. The best site for archaeological subsoil exploration is in the west of the city of Hamilton. Specifically, there is a large area of good suitability with isolated patches of excellent suitability.

Conclusion The analysis in this report could prove to be very useful to archaeological investigations in the Hamilton area. Moreover, this analysis has shown a wealth of potential field sites, particularly to the north-west. The techniques used in this analysis are undoubtedly beneficial to the archaeological community at large, as they have the potential to be applied to almost any location, effectively minimizing the cost and damage associated with exploration.

Data Sources and References

Sensitivity Analysis To determine the sensitivity of the pair-wise comparison-based model, two additional weighing schemes were applied to the same factors and constraints. The two weighting schemes applied were rank sum and rank exponent. Despite small discrepancies, both of these models show the area north-west of Hamilton to contain the best site for an archeological dig. This increases confidence in the findings.

Digital Elevation Model (DEM) – Provincial Tiled Dataset. ON: DMTI Spatial Inc., 2011. Available via Scholar’s Geoportal: http://geo1.scholarsportal.info.libaccess.lib.mcmaster.ca/ (1 April 2013). Figure 2. The historic Neutral Iroquois Chiefdom. Scale not given. In: Noble, W. C. “Historic Neutral Settlement Patterns,” Canadian Journal of Archaeology, Volume 8, no. 1 (1984): p. 4. Figure 4. Historic Neutralia and its main trails. Scale [ca. 1:10000). In: Noble, W. C. “Historic Neutral Settlement Patterns,” Canadian Journal of Archaeology, Volume 8, no. 1 (1984): p. 15. J. Heriot Maitland. Plan of Hamilton County of Wentworth and Surrounding Counties. Scale ca. 1:2000. 1862. H. C. Sheffield. Map of Wentworth County. “In Search of Your Canadian Past: The Canadian County Atlas Digital Project.” 1880. http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas/ SearchMapframes.php (1 April 2013). Land Use (LUR). ON: DMTI Spatial Inc., 2011. Available via Scholar’s Geoportal: http://geo1.scholarsportal.info.libaccess.lib.mcmaster.ca/ (1 April 2013). Pipelines and Transmission (PTP). Markham, ON: DMTI Spatial Inc., 2011. Available via Scholar’s Geoportal: http://geo1.scholarsportal.info.libaccess.lib.mcmaster.ca/ (1 April 2013). Route File (RTE). ON: DMTI Spatial Inc., 2011. Available via Scholar’s Geoportal: http://geo1.scholarsportal.info.libaccess.lib.mcmaster.ca/ (1 April 2013). Woodhouse, T. R. LaSalle’s Probable Route to Tinawatawa September 19 to 24 1669. Scale not given. 1945.

Acknowledgements We would like to express our greatest gratitude to Prof. Patrick DeLuca, John Maclachlan and Gord Beck for their continuous support for the project, from initial advice in the early stages of conceptual inception to finding valuable data and encouragement to this day. THANK YOU


Archaeological work