Utilizing remote sensing data to conduct anthropological research has become increasingly common these days. Not only do these remote sensing techniques allow archaeologists to identify and locate archaeological sites and features, but they also provide invaluable data for evaluating and assessing anthropological studies of past and present cultures. Management and integration of these datasets typically involves the use of a Geographic Information System (GIS). Often used for mapping, GIS also provides techniques for analyzing remote sensing data and further integrating it with other types of archaeological information such as artifact densities.
AVALON PLANTATION (UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA IN HUNTSVILLE)
The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is located on land formerly owned by Revolutionary War Veteran Lewellen Jones and was among one of the largest antebellum cotton plantations in the South. By the end of the Civil War, the Avalon plantation was home to 121 enslaved people, and archaeologists and historians believe many are buried on the current campus. TVAR partnered with the university in May of 2022 to conduct GPR studies near the Jones Perkins Family Cemetery, as well as a second site, to determine the possible presence of unmarked graves. Data processing and results are ongoing; however, UAH is seeking public support to create the Historic Marker Trail Project. Funds raised will support the placement of historical markers at important locations across campus and tell the story of the people that lived and worked there.
Visit https://www.uah.edu/news/news/uah-archives-and-department-of-history-to-erect-historical-marker-on-campus to learn more about the project and ways to show support.
MISSISSIPPI MOUND TRAIL
In partnership with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH), TVAR’s mapping team processed Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data to created contour and relief maps for 33 publicly accessible native American mound sites across the state. Contour maps for each location were utilized to create roadside signs along the trail, while relief maps were used for publication within an accompanying pamphlet. The images below provide an example from this project, highlighting the Winterville Mounds. Mississippi is home to many such earthen mounds, which were often constructed for burial and ceremonial purposes primarily during the Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods. TVAR’s involvement with the project was a unique opportunity to bring the history of these sites to the larger public while also showcasing one of our most advanced services. To learn more about the Mississippi Mound Trail, visit: http://trails.mdah.ms.gov/mmt/index.html.