Satellite-based remote sensing rapidly reveals extensive record of Holocene coastal settlement on Madagascar

Despite decades of archaeological research, roughly 75% of Madagascar’s land area remains archaeologically unexplored and the oldest sites on the island are difficult to locate, as they contain the ephemeral remains of mobile hunter/forager campsites. The known archaeological record is therefore biased toward later sites, especially sites dating to the second millennium AD, following the expansion of Indian Ocean trading networks. Systematic archaeological investigations are required to address these biases in the known archaeological record and clarify the island’s early human history, but funding limitations, logistical and time constraints in surveying large areas and a relatively small number of active field archaeologists present substantial barriers to expansive areal survey coverage. Using theoretical models derived from human behavioral ecology (i.e., ideal free distribution, optimal foraging theory) in conjunction with freely available remote sensing data, we illustrate how archaeological survey of Madagascar’s landscapes can be rapidly expanded, more effectively target early archaeological deposits, and address questions about the island’s settlement. This study illustrates the potential for theoretically-driven satellite-based remote sensing analysis to improve our understanding of the archaeological record of the world’s fourth largest island. Suggested Citation: Davis, Dylan S., Vanillah Andriankaja, Tahirisoa Lorine Carina, Zafy Maharesy Chrisostome, Christophe Colombe, Felicia Fenomanana, Laurence Hubertine, Ricky Justome, François Lahiniriko, Harson Léonce, George Manahira, Briand Venance Pierre, Razafimagnefa Roi, Patricia Soafiavy, Faralahy Victorian, Vavisoa Voahirana, Barthélémy Manjakahery, and Kristina Douglass 2019. Satellite-based remote sensing rapidly reveals extensive record of Holocene coastal settlement on Madagascar. https://doi.org/10.26207/1a47-pw11

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Work Title Satellite-based remote sensing rapidly reveals extensive record of Holocene coastal settlement on Madagascar
Access
Open Access
Creators
  1. Dylan Davis
Keyword
  1. ideal free distribution
  2. settlement patterns
  3. GIS
  4. human behavioral ecology
  5. predictive modeling
  6. Madagascar
  7. remote sensing
License Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Work Type Dataset
Publication Date 2020
DOI doi:10.26207/1a47-pw11
Deposited October 19, 2019

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Version 1
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  • Created
  • Added Probability_Rasters.zip
  • Added Extended_Summary_ENG.pdf
  • Added Supplemental_File_1.docx
  • Added Sentinel2_Images.zip
  • Added Supplemental_File_2.pdf
  • Added Extended_Summary_FR.pdf
  • Added Segmentation_polygons.zip
  • Added savi.zip
  • Added README.md
  • Added Training_Data_ROIs.zip
  • Added Creator Dylan Davis
  • Published

Version 2
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  • Created
  • Added Davis_etal_JAS_PrePrint_2019.pdf
  • Updated Publication Date Show Changes
    Publication Date
    • 2020
  • Published