Spatial assessment of early human expansions using ROAD: an example from Southern Africa


In this paper we present a concept for the storage, exchange, presentation, and analysis of geospatial, environmental, and archaeological data with the aim to study and assess the dynamics of early human expansion. We present geographic information systems (GIS), database solutions and web based technologies for handling and processing archaeological and physiographic information. The project deals with a range of variables and file formats from the fields of geology, geomorphology, paleontology, and archaeology presented in vector, raster, and text formats. In order to demonstrate the possibilities of the ROCEEH Out of Africa Database (ROAD), this study presents a unique set of archaeological information sampled from a period between 3Ma and 20Ka covering the region of Southern Africa. The data includes site locations, their geology, and most important, the archaeological, paleo-biological, and climatic data that are accessed for these different locations. To help explaining the spatial distribution of archaeological and paleontological sites, detailed topographic information was provided at scales of 5m, 10m, 25m, 90m, and 1km based on aerial photography, ASTER, and SRTM elevation data. Moreover, bathymetry was provided at a resolution of 1km. Combining these data sets, we show the first spatial and conceptual analysis of the data using ROAD. The results of different research questions show the potential of these methods and give some perspectives for future applications. Proceedings of the Data Management Workshop, 29-30 October 2009, University of Cologne, Germany, Kölner Geographische Arbeiten, 90, pp. 113-117

Related Identifier 0454-1294
Metadata Access
Creator Märker, Michael;Schmidt, Patrick
Publisher Geographisches Institut der Universität zu Köln - Kölner Geographische Arbeiten
Contributor Curdt, Constanze;Bareth, Georg;CRC/TR32 Database (TR32DB);University of Cologne, Regional Computing Centre (RRZK)
Publication Year 2010
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)
Contact Curdt, Constanze;CRC/TR32 Database (TR32DB);University of Cologne, Regional Computing Centre (RRZK);Bareth, Georg
Language English
Format application/pdf
Discipline Not stated