Cultural Resources

Archaeology and Curation: Tools and Technologies

Using Historic Human Remains Detection Dog Teams to Locate Historic Unmarked Cemeteries

This report describes a scientific study testing the effectiveness of Historic Human Remains Detection (HHRD) dogs and comparing HHRD dog results against geophysical survey results at multiple, unmarked, burial sites. Carey L. Baxter and Michael L. Hargrave.

Managing Digital Archaeological Data

This case study examines the United States Air Force installations’ use of the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR). The Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) is a digital archive and repository designed to curate archaeological and cultural heritage documents, images, datasets, and other digital files.

In response to DoD’s need for efficient access to archaeological data from past investigations, this project was undertaken as a test case to evaluate whether and how an online repository for digital archaeological and cultural resource management (CRM) data could be developed and managed by the Center for Digital Antiquity to fulfill this need. Sara Rivers Cofeld and Jodi Reeves Flores with Francis P. McManamon, Adam Brin, Grant Snitker, Chelsea Walter, Michael A. Smolek, and Amanda Vtipil.

This short report summarizes the work that went into preparing and redacting sensitive information from archaeological reports, entering relevant metadata, and uploading the documents to the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) server. Joshua Watts.

Analyzing Data Collected from Remote Sensing Devices

The report describes the results of a project to develop the statistical treatments and computational capacity required to analyze data collected with a variety of remote sensing devices in order to detect environmental change associated with human activities; by this means, maps were produced that illustrated anthropogenic micro-environmental change by comparing environmental conditions at archaeological sites with conditions that exist in the surrounding landscape. The result is a decision support tool that offers substantial and immediate cost avoidance to the DoD by minimizing activities required to comply with the NHPA, particularly sections 106 and 110. Douglas C. Comer.

Using Black Earth and Remote Sensing to Locate Sites

This technical report provides a summary of soils data collected at four installations (Fort Drum, NY; Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA, Cheatham Annex of Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, VA, and Dare County Bombing Range of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, NC) to explore the efficacy of black earth as an indicator of Indian activity on the landscape. The report includes analysis and major conclusions, which were applied to develop management strategies that can be implemented across a wide range of DoD holdings in the eastern U.S. Sarah Johnson, Marc D. Abrams, Laurie Rush.

This presentation defines black earth/soils; describes sampling, lab, and analytical methods; outlines the use of the results in ArcMap (Inverse Distance Weighting spatial interpolation tool), and discusses species and soil mineral contents that may indicate use by Native Americans. The thesis of the presentation is that an integration of the use of vegetative indicator species and black earth has more predictive power than either alone. Sarah Johnson, Marc D. Abrams, Laurie Rush.

This presentation continues the topic in the “Recommendations for Applying Results to DoD Modeling Initiatives” above. Remote sensing is defined, methods are presented, and interpretation and analysis are discussed. The theses of the presentation are that vegetation types containing high density of archaeological sites should show the highest potential for discovery of previously unknown cultural sites, and remote sensing, especially high-resolution aerial imagery, is useful in efficiently identifying potentially human-modified features on the ground. Sarah Johnson, Marc D. Abrams, Laurie Rush.

Key Quality Indicators for Archaeological Data

This pilot study explores issues involved in the quality of archaeological data used by the Department of Defense to comply with Federal statutes and regulations. The goal was to determine the potential value and benefit of establishing key quality indicators for archaeological data by examining the statistical implications of current approaches to finding and defining archaeological sites and the effects of these approaches on data quality. Michael P. Heinlen, Christopher L. Nagle, Jeffrey H. Altschul.

This fact sheet describes a project that prepared a test case for integrating archaeological artifact collection data into USAF developed cultural resources data system, MCRAD, as a solution to ad hoc data collection. The resulting database will assist DoD agencies nationwide in meeting the archaeological collections management and reporting requirements of ARPA, NAGPRA, and NHPA. Brian Crane.

Tools to Effectively Use Geophysical Techniques

This report offers guidance documents and decision support tools to help cultural resource managers (CRMs) and field practitioners make effective use of geophysical techniques. The ATAGS (Automated Tool for Archaeo-Geophysical Survey) software tool, which allows the user to develop an effective survey design for a geophysical survey at a particular site, is described. Lewis E. Somers; Michael H. Hargrave; Janet E. Simms.