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CPAS Archaeological GIS Workshop December 2009 Chengdu, China

Dr. Jason Ur Department of Anthropology Harvard University

Lab 8: Basic Spatial Analysis
This lab will introduce you to some basic methods of analysis, in this case all based on distance. In this case, we will perform these analyses on a dataset of sites of the Early Bronze Age (ca. 2600-2000 BC) and Iron Age (ca. 900-600 BC) in northern Mesopotamia (modern NE Syria). I. Setup A. Load the tbs.mxd ArcMap document from the L08_analysis folder. This is a map of the Tell Beydar Survey area.

II. Distance: How far away are features? A. Buffers of defined distance. Suppose you wish to know what land lies within 3 km of sites of the Early Bronze Age. Ethnographic studies suggest that sedentary farmers in the Near East generally cultivate within 3 km of their settlements. 1. Open ArcToolbox and select Analysis Tools→Proximity→ Buffer. 2. The Input features are the EBA Sites; 3. For the Output Feature Class, call the shapefile eba_buffer.shp and put it in the L08_analysis folder; 4. For Distance, select Linear Unit and input 3000 meters; 5. Leave other options as is, and click OK. When the process is finished, click Close. 6. There will be a lot of overlap for the features in the resulting shapefile. You might set the fill color for this layer to transparent to see how they overlap. B. Buffers with distance derived from a field. The 3 km arbitrary buffer is interesting in that it suggests that if each settlement’s residents cultivated the 3 km radius around it, there would be overlaps (and potential conflict) with neighbors. But not all settlements would need to cultivate that much. We could estimate the cultivated area based on a population estimate derived from the site’s size. Here we’ll make some assumptions about population density, annual cereal consumption, and field productivity to calculate the radius of a settlement’s agricultural sustaining area. 1. Add a field to the EBA Sites layer to contain the sites’ area a) Open the attribute table for EBA Sites and select Options→Add Field… b) Call the field area_ha and make it of type “double.” Click OK. c) Right-click on the area_ha field heading and select Calculate Geometry… (1) The Property to calculate is Area (you might note the other properties that you can calculate for features); (2) Use the coordinate system of the data source; (3) The Units should be “Hectares [ha].” 1

(3) Take the square root of that number. we will measure distance from sites of the Early Bronze Age. The sust_rad column will now have the radius in meters. 5. In these buffers.000 equals the total cultivated area. run the Buffer tool in ArcToolbox. 2. because Near Eastern archaeologists often assume that ancient sites held 100 persons per settled hectare. Type inside that box “[area_ha]*100” .CPAS Archaeological GIS Workshop. We’ll assume that the farmers cultivated a circular area around each site. c) Right-click on the pop_100 field heading and select Field Calculator. The area_ha field will be populated by the area of each feature in hectares (1 ha = 10. add a field called sust_rad but make it of type “double”. annual individual consumption. it should say “pop_100 = “ above the bottom box. Add a field to contain the radius of the estimated sustaining area a) As you did above. d) For the Distance. Chengdu Dec 2009 Lab 8: Basic Spatial Analysis d) Click OK. In this case.1415. and click OK. we must: (1) multiply population x 10. Create buffers using the value in the field sust_rad a) As in Section II. to calculate the radius of a circle that would feed each site’s population. So population x 10. the settlements in the Beydar area should have been self sustaining in the Early Bronze Age. Distance Grids: Generate a grid where the pixel value represents distance from a point or set of points. Indeed. annual field yield. C. d) In the Field Calculator window. e) Leave all other fields as is and click OK.000 square meters). and then Close when the process is completed.A above. This will multiply the field containing the area in hectares by 100. a) Open the attribute table for EBA Sites and select Options→Add Field… b) Call the field pop_100. (2) Divide the area by π or a simplified 3. c) Name your output sustaining area shapefile.000 to get the sustaining area. b) EBA Sites will be the input features. check Field and select sust_rad. with the assumptions we have made regarding population size. etc. (4) Therefore.. note that there is much less overlap when we take into consideration population. c) We’ll assume that one person eats one hectare’s worth (10. Add a field to the EBA Sites layer to contain a population estimate. Since Area 2 = πr . b) Right-click its field heading and select Field Calculator. 3.000 m2) of cereal each year. 4.1415 ) d) Click OK. sust_rad will equal Sqr ( [pop_100]*10000/3. leave it as a Short Integer. 2 . Close the Attributes window. in the Field Calculator window.

set the Analysis extent to Same as Layer “Survey Limits. In this example. c) Set the Method to Defined Interval and the Interval Size to 1000. 1. Leave the other options as is. Open ArcToolbox and select Analysis Tools→Proximity→Near. 2. The Near Features should be Drainage 5. The Input features should be Iron Age Sites. 4. Turn off the display of the EBA Sites and various EBA distance/pasture layers and turn on the display of the Iron Age Sites layer. 3. D. d) Click OK 3. set the Analysis Mask to the Survey Limits layer. click OK and then OK. b) Leave maximim distance blank and set Output cell size to 10 (meters). Reclassify the distance raster layer to estimate areas of pasture landuse in the EBA. In the Spatial Analyst menu. d) On the Spatial Analyst menu. set the 0 – 5000 range to “NoData”. select Options… On the General tab. d) Click OK. In the toolbar. and click OK 6. 4.” This will limit the output analyses to only the area within the survey boundaries. we will convert this area to a polygon and measure its area. c) In the Break Values column on the right. c) Put the Output raster on your U: drive in an appropriate folder. (3) Put the output raster on your U: drive and click OK e) This raster layer represents the area within the survey zone that we suppose to have been used as pasture in the EBA. Chengdu Dec 2009 Lab 8: Basic Spatial Analysis 1. On the Extent tab. below. a) Go to the Symbology tab of the Distance to EBA Sites raster layer and click the Classify… button. You can override this to classify the pixels in 1 km intervals a) Open the Layer Properties and go to the Symbology tab. The Near tool adds two 3 . click the Classify… button.CPAS Archaeological GIS Workshop. select Reclassify… (1) For New Values. Here we’ll make a very general assumption that land beyond 5 km from any site was not being cultivated but rather was being used for pasture. b) Set the Method to Natural Breaks and the number of classes to 2. The output grid is automatically classified to a default setting. select Distance-Straight Line… a) Distance to: should be EBA Sites. set the first break to 5000. Measuring distance to the nearest feature. Open the attribute table for Iron Age Sites and scroll to the right. we will measure the distance from Iron Age settlements to the nearest drainage using the Near tool in ArcToolbox. This method uses the Spatial Analyst toolbar. 2. (2) Set the 5000 and greater range to 1. b) In the Classification section.

5. and NEAR_DIST. and set the output cell size to 10 (meters). On the Spatial Analyst toolbar.they are sites in an area of the survey region for which they drainage layer has no coverage. 3. select Distance→Allocation… 1. B. 2.. select Convert→Raster to Features… 3. In this example. This process generates a grid which allocates space according to proximity to features (also called Theissen Polygons or Voronoi Tesselation). Click OK. 5. The Input Raster should be your distance allocation. This will make the pixel value of the allocations equal to the site number. 2. set the Primary Display Field to SITENO.e. Repeat steps D-E on your pasture layer (from section II. 7. display the EBA sustaining areas with the Iron Age zones. In the Spatial Analyst toolbar.C above) to calculate the total square 4 . ArcGIS can calculate the area of polygons and the length of polylines very accurately. In the Layer Properties for the Iron Age Sites layer. add a field called area_sqkm of type “Double. 7. The area_sqkm field will be populated. 2. and set the fill color of the new vector layer to transparent. we’ll see how these geometrically defined territories would be assigned to divide up the Iron Age landscape around Tell Beydar. which is the FID number of the closest feature in the Drainage layer. It is possible to make this conversion. Set Assign to: to “Iron Age Sites”. which is the distance in map units to that feature. If any features of the Iron Age Sites layer are selected. Straight Line Allocation A. 4. G. on the Fields tab. with a few outliers over 200 m.CPAS Archaeological GIS Workshop. From the Options menu. The first few are errors. note that the gridcode field corresponds to the site number. the areas which apparently were uncultivated in the EBA). F. Open the attribute table of the Iron Age zones polygon layer. and note how many of the Iron Age sites and territories appear to have filled in the interstices of the EBA landscape (i. make sure to deselect them before proceeding. Note that the majority of sites are within 200 meters of water. Output the raster to your U: drive in an appropriate folder and click OK. C. 1. Leave the Maximum distance blank. Shift the Allocation layer to above the Basalt layer. The output is a raster where each pixel’s value is the site number of the closest Iron Age site. D. The Field should be Value (equivalent to the site number). Click OK. Convert the allocation raster into a vector polygon layer 1. 6. Right-click on the area_sqkm header and select Calculate Geometry.” 3. which are they? III. Measuring the area of the polygon zones. E. It might be more useful to have these zones represented as vectors instead of raster zones. For a basic visual spatial analysis of the differences between EBA and Iron Age land use and hypothetical territories. the Property will be Area and the Units will be Square Kilometers [sq km]. Uncheck the display of the allocation raster layer. Chengdu Dec 2009 Lab 8: Basic Spatial Analysis fields to the table: NEAR_FID. Sort the NEAR_DIST column in descending order and note the positions of the sites furthest from water. 4. Give the output features a name and location on your U: drive.

5 .CPAS Archaeological GIS Workshop. Chengdu Dec 2009 Lab 8: Basic Spatial Analysis kilometers of the survey area more than 5 km from an EBA site.