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Maximum Entropy Predictive Modeling of Open-Air Basketmaker II Sites on Black Mesa and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Gibson, Wesley Cole (2022) Maximum Entropy Predictive Modeling of Open-Air Basketmaker II Sites on Black Mesa and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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Using Lolomai phase, open-air Basketmaker II archaeological site locations and environmental variables representing resource distribution, climate, and landscape, I created a predictive model for Early Agricultural period cultural manifestations on Black Mesa in northeastern Arizona. I project the Black Mesa model to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument region in southern Utah to locate high probability areas that are likely to contain Early Agricultural period cultural manifestations. The sites used in this pilot project were identified and recorded during the Black Mesa Archaeological Project and represent the most complete set of open-air Basketmaker II sites in the Southwest. Environmental data include relatively standard data sets used extensively in predictive modeling throughout the world. I use geographic information system software and MaxEnt software to create the predictive model. Maximum entropy modeling has been used extensively to model the distribution of species in ecology and is ideal for archaeological data. While the technique has not been used extensively in an archaeological context, maximum entropy modeling has been shown to be the best approach for modeling archaeological data. This pilot project adds to the predictive modeling literature with the ultimate goal of preserving cultural resources and adding to archaeologists’ understanding of the past.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: Basketmaker; Entropy; Lolomai; Maximum; Modeling; Predictive; Arizona; Black Mesa; Utah; Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Social and Behavioral Science > Anthropology
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2022 17:41
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2022 17:41
URI: https://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5872

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