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New Tool Developed in the Search for Prehistoric Campsites

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA—According to a statement released by Simon Fraser University (SFU), underwater archaeologist Rob Rondeau of SFU and Chris Carleton of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology developed a predictive model to look for landscapes where nomadic hunter-gatherers may have camped. Known as the Locally-Adaptive Model of Archaeological Potential (LAMAP), it uses information from known archaeological sites to evaluate land that has not been examined by archaeologists for its archaeological potential. The researchers loaded LAMAP with information from the State of Alaska’s Heritage Database about 90 archaeological sites in the Tanana Valley, and then used the model to make predictions about where additional sites might be found. The areas that LAMAP identified as locations with a high potential for archaeological sites turned out to be the locations of many of the remaining sites in the state’s database. Rondeau now plans to use LAMAP to look for prehistoric sites in the deep waters off the coast of British Columbia. Read the original scholarly article about this research in PLOS ONE. To read about a landscape submerged under the North Sea where hunter-gatherers lived more than 8,000 years ago, go to "Letter from Doggerland: Mapping a Vanished Landscape."

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