Title

Assessing Land Use over Archaeological Sites in the Cerro El Vigía Area, Veracruz, Mexico

Presenter Information

Matthew MeyerFollow

Major

Geoarchaeology

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Robin Q. Zhang, PhD.

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

The utilization of Digital Elevation Models (DEM) is integral when trying to find earthworks and other archaeological features when field data cannot be obtained. That being said, when land use is neglected, it becomes difficult to assess any modern contexts to past structures. Mounds and platforms could be used for modern farming, or as foundations for modern houses in a floodplain. Within the context of the Cerro El Vigía area in Veracruz, Mexico, a major concern that archaeologists have is whether mounds are being plowed for agriculture. In order to identify what sites have a higher risk of being impacted, DEM data will be placed under Landsat-8 imagery obtained from USGS Earth Explorer. Land cover will then be classified from the Landsat imagery and separated into clearly defined categories. The final classification will then be compared to known mound sites such as San Marcos and Tres Zapotes, to see the potential uses that may increase the erosion process. To help better mark how land is actually used, orthometric imagery will be implemented in some areas where either the land use is uncertain, or where there is a more critical danger of loss due to plowing in order to delineate where field boundaries are visible. With the implementation of land cover classification over DEM data, we can better understand what modern processes are impacting cultural remains, and better assess what conservation efforts may be necessary to preserve sites before they are lost.

Fall Scholars Week 2019 Event

Earth and Environmental Sciences Poster Session

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Assessing Land Use over Archaeological Sites in the Cerro El Vigía Area, Veracruz, Mexico

The utilization of Digital Elevation Models (DEM) is integral when trying to find earthworks and other archaeological features when field data cannot be obtained. That being said, when land use is neglected, it becomes difficult to assess any modern contexts to past structures. Mounds and platforms could be used for modern farming, or as foundations for modern houses in a floodplain. Within the context of the Cerro El Vigía area in Veracruz, Mexico, a major concern that archaeologists have is whether mounds are being plowed for agriculture. In order to identify what sites have a higher risk of being impacted, DEM data will be placed under Landsat-8 imagery obtained from USGS Earth Explorer. Land cover will then be classified from the Landsat imagery and separated into clearly defined categories. The final classification will then be compared to known mound sites such as San Marcos and Tres Zapotes, to see the potential uses that may increase the erosion process. To help better mark how land is actually used, orthometric imagery will be implemented in some areas where either the land use is uncertain, or where there is a more critical danger of loss due to plowing in order to delineate where field boundaries are visible. With the implementation of land cover classification over DEM data, we can better understand what modern processes are impacting cultural remains, and better assess what conservation efforts may be necessary to preserve sites before they are lost.