This book explores the interplay between African archaeology and geospatial methods from three broad perspectives. First, several contributors examine the technical possibilities and limits of using satellite imagery to detect archaeological sites and model their physical environs. A second perspective is the integration of new geospatial data and methods into site- and landscape-scale analyses to better address questions about social organization and subjective experience in African pasts. A final perspective considers the interplay between geospatial technologies and community archaeology in Africa. Recognizing that GIS and RS supersede traditional divisions in African archaeology, such as different periods, geographic regions, and theoretical orientations, the chapters aim to be widely applicable. Arranged by methodological emphasis, the case studies move from technical discussions of specific geospatial tools to general applications for addressing specific sociohistorical topics. Each chapter clearly explains the links between their archaeological questions and analytical methods, as well as how their results advance our understanding of African pasts and heritage resources. Many of the chapters can serve as learning models for archaeologists who are new to GIS or curious about its applications to their work. Others represent recent advances in geospatial applications of greater interest to more seasoned GIS practitioners, demonstrating the potential for African scholarship to contribute to methodological innovations. This book is of interest to students and researchers of African and historical archaeology and anthropology.
Previously published in African Archaeological Review Volume 37, issue 1, March 2020
Dr. Cameron Gokee is an anthropological archaeologist who studies the interplay between community and landscape. Building on nearly two decades of collaborative research in francophone West Africa, Dr. Gokee currently directs the Bandafassi Regional Archaeological Project to map shifting relations of village life and ethnic identity in a 'shatter zone' on the upper Gambia River over the past thousand years. Locally, he also co-directs two projects to explore the historical landscapes of Indigenous and Black communities in southern Appalachia-the Linville Gorge Archaeological Survey and the Junaluska Community Archaeology Project. Finally, Dr. Gokee collaborates with the Undocumented Migration Project to address structural violence against migrants moving across the US-Mexico borderlands.
Dr. Carla Klehm is Research Assistant Professor in the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies at the University of Arkansas. She is an anthropological archaeologist working at the intersection of inequality, long-distance trade, and human-environmental relationships. Funded by NSF, NEH, NGS, and Wenner-Gren, among others, she directs international, multidisciplinary projects that span from the outskirts of the earliest polities in southern Africa and the riverine fortress networks of Bronze Age Europe to mortuary assemblages at some of East Africa's earliest megalithic monuments. Her projects have incorporated a range of geospatial techniques, including geophysics, UAV-based sensors, and predictive modeling using multispectral satellite imagery, derived from her long-standing relationship with CAST. Dr. Klehm also collaborates directly with local museums and communities and incorporates indigenous perspectives in the narratives she presents to both academic and popular audiences.