Modern Environmental Datasets and the Reanalysis of Cedar Mesa (Utah) Settlement Patterns
McGill, Kendall A.
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Modern geographic information systems and web-accessible environmental datasets have created an opportunity to supplement earlier settlement models and provide additional insight into Ancestral Pueblo occupation of the Cedar Mesa area of southeast Utah. The settlement pattern analysis published by Matson, Lipe, and Haase (1988) contributed basic understandings of the distribution of the many small dispersed sites on Cedar Mesa, and of the environmental factors that influenced these settlement behaviors. Unable to access the surplus of environmental data available today, the initial analysis tested only a small number of environmental variables and employed an environmental proxy if the desired variable data was unavailable. This project will compile geospatial data from the archived site survey records and a collection of geological, botanical and hydrological datasets to test site location relationships with an expanded set of environmental variables. Leveraging the temporal and site type classifications from the prior study, further analysis will assess occupational period trends and variation among site types