Skip to content
BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access May 29, 2014

Predictive modeling for preventive Archaeology: overview and case study

  • Maria Danese EMAIL logo , Nicola Masini , Marilisa Biscione and Rosa Lasaponara
From the journal Open Geosciences


The use of GIS and Spatial Analysis for predictive models is an important topic in preventive archaeology. Both of these tools play an important role in the Support Decision System (SDS) for archaeological research and for providing information useful to reduce archaeological risk. Over the years, a number of predictive models in the GIS environment have been developed and proposed. The existing models substantially differ from each other in methodological approaches and parameters used for performing the analysis. Until now, only few works consider spatial autocorrelation, which can provide more effective results. This paper provides a brief review of the existing predictive models, and then proposes a new methodological approach, applied to the neolithic sites in the Apulian Tavoliere (Southern Italy), that combines traditional techniques with methods that allow us to include spatial autocorrelation analysis to take into account the spatial relationships among the diverse sites.

[1] Kamermans H., Van Leusen M., Verhagen P., Archaeological prediction and risk management. archaeological studies. Leiden University Press, 2009 10.5117/9789087280673Search in Google Scholar

[2] Varnes D.J., Slope movements, type and processes. In: Schuster R.L., Krizek R.J. (Eds.), Landslides-analysis and control: National Research Council, Washington, D.C., Transportation Research Board, Special Report 1978, 176, 11–33 Search in Google Scholar

[3] Danese M., Masini N., Murgante B., Archaeological risk and spatial analysis. How to compare urban sprawl and archaeological sensibility maps. EARSeL eProceedings 2013 (in press) Search in Google Scholar

[4] Danese M., Masini N., Biscione M., Lasaponara R., Gis and archaeology: a spatial predictive model for neolithic sites of the Tavoliere (Apulia). In: Hadjimitsis D.G., Themistocleous K., Michaelides S., Papadavid G. (Eds), Proc. SPIE 8795, First International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2013), 2013 Search in Google Scholar

[5] Lasaponara R., Danese M., Masini N., Satellitebased monitoring of archaeological looting in Peru. Remote sensing and digital image processing, 2012, 16, 177–193, doi: 10.1007/978-90-481-8801-7_8 in Google Scholar

[6] Hadjimitsis D., Agapiou A., Alexakis D., Sarris A., Exploring natural and anthropogenic risk for cultural heritage in Cyprus using remote sensing and GIS. Int. J. Digital Earth, 2013, 6,2, 115–142 in Google Scholar

[7] Anschuetz K.F., Wilshusen R.H., Scheik C.L., An archaeology of landscapes: perspectives and directions. J. Archaeol. Res., 2001, 9,2, 157–211 in Google Scholar

[8] Ashmore W., Knapp A.B. (Eds.), Archaeologies of landscape: Contemporary perspectives, Blackwell Publishers, Malden, MA, 1999 Search in Google Scholar

[9] Sever T.L., Irwin D.E., Landscape archaeology: remote-sensing investigation of the ancient Maya in the Peten rainforest of northern Guatemala. Ancient Mesoamerica, 2003, 14, 113–122 in Google Scholar

[10] Vaughn S., Crawford T., A predictive model of archaeological potential: an example from northwestern Belize. App. Geog., 2009, 29,4, 542–555 in Google Scholar

[11] Walker J.H., Recent landscape archaeology in South America. J. Archaeol. Res., 2012, 20,4, 309–355, DOI 10.1007/s10814-012-9057-6 in Google Scholar

[12] Niknami K.A., A stochastic model to simulate and predict archaeological landscape taphonomy: monitoring cultural landscapes values based on an iranian survey project. Archeologia e Calcolatori, 2007, 18, 101–120 Search in Google Scholar

[13] Podobnikar T., Veljanovski T., Stančič Z., Oštir K., Archaeological predictive modelling in cultural resource management. In: Konečný M. (Ed.), GI in EUROPE: integrative — interoperable — interactive. Proceedings of 4th Agile Conference on Geographic Information Science, 2001, 535–5 Search in Google Scholar

[14] Ciminale M., Gallo D., Lasaponara R., Masini N., A multiscale approach for reconstructing archaeological landscapes: applications in Northern Apulia (Italy), Archaeol. Prospect., 2009, 16, 143–153 in Google Scholar

[15] Gallo D., Ciminale M., Becker H., Masini N., Remote sensing techniques for reconstructing a vast Neolithic settlement in Southern Italy. J. Archaeol. Sci., 2009, 36, 43–50 in Google Scholar

[16] Brandt R., Groenewoudt B.J., Kvamme K.L., An experiment in archaeological site location: modeling in the netherlands using gis techniques. World Archaeol., 1992, 24,2, 268–282 in Google Scholar

[17] Stančič Z., Kvamme, K., Settlement pattern modelling through boolean overlays of social and environmental variables. In: Barcelo J.A., Briz I., Vila A. (Eds.), New techniques for old times, CAA 98, BAR International Series, 1999, 757, 231–237 Search in Google Scholar

[18] Verhagen P., Testing archaeological predictive models: a rough guide. In: Posluschny A., Lambers K., Herzog I. (Eds.), Layers of perception. Proceedings of the 35th international conference on computer applications and quantitative methods in archaeology (CAA), Berlin, Germany, 2007, 10, 285–291. 10.5117/9789087280079Search in Google Scholar

[19] Garcia A., GIS-based methodology for Palaeolithic site location preferences analysis. A case study from Late Palaeolithic Cantabria (Northern Iberian Peninsula), J. Archaeol. Sci., 2013, 40, 217–226 in Google Scholar

[20] Canning S., BELIEF in the past: Dempster-Shafer theory, GIS and archaeological predictive modeling. Aust. Archaeol., 2005, 60, 6–15 10.1080/03122417.2005.11681799Search in Google Scholar

[21] Zhongxuan L., Gang H., Cheng Z., Multi-fractal analysis on neolithic sites around the Sanxia Reservoir Area. RSETE, 2011, 491–494 10.1109/RSETE.2011.5964321Search in Google Scholar

[22] Alexakis D., Sarris A., Astaras T., Albanakis K., Integrated GIS, remote sensing and geomorphologic approaches for the reconstruction of the landscape habitation of Thessaly during the neolithic period. J. Archaeol. Sci., 2011, 38, 89–100 in Google Scholar

[23] De Mers M.N., GIS Modeling in raster. USA, 2002 Search in Google Scholar

[24] Tomlin C.D., Geographic Information Systems and cartographic modeling. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 1990 Search in Google Scholar

[25] Tobler W.R., A Computer model simulating urban growth in the Detroit region. Econ. Geogr., 1970, 46, 234–240 in Google Scholar

[26] O’Sullivan D., Unwin D., Geographic Information Analysis. John Wiley & Sons, 2002. Search in Google Scholar

[27] Gatrell A.C., Bailey T.C., Diggle P.J., Rowlingson B.S., Spatial point pattern analysis and its application in geographical epidemiology. T. I. Brit. Geogr., 1996, 21, 256–271 in Google Scholar

[28] Silverman B.W., Density estimation for statistics and data analysis. Monographs on Statistics and Applied Probability, Chapman and Hall, London, 1986 Search in Google Scholar

[29] Flahaut, B., Mouchart, M., Martin, E.S., THOMAS, I., The local spatial autocorrelation and the kernel method for identifying black zones a comparative approach. Accident Anal. Prev., 2003, 35, 991–1004. in Google Scholar

[30] Borruso G., Network density and delimitation of urban arrears. Transaction in GIS, 2004, 7, 177–191 in Google Scholar

[31] Borruso G., Network density estimation: analysis of point patterns over a network. In: O. Gervasi et al (Eds.), Computational Science and its applications. Lecture notes in Computer Science (Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag) 2005, 3482,Part III, 126–132 in Google Scholar

[32] Borruso G., Network density estimation: a GIS approach for analyzing point patterns in a network space. Transactions in GIS, 2008, 12, 377–402 in Google Scholar

[33] Downs J.A., Horner M.W., Spatial modeling pathways of migratory birds for nature reserve site selection. Int. J. Geogr. Inf. Sci., 2008, 22,6, 687–702 in Google Scholar

[34] Downs J. A., Horner M.W., Characterising linear point patterns. In: Winstanley A.C. (Ed), Proceedings of the GIS Research UK Annual Conference, Maynooth: National University of Ireland, 2007, 421–425 Search in Google Scholar

[35] Downs J.A., Horner M.W., Network-based kernel density estimation for home range analysis. In: Demsar U. (Ed.), Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Geo-Computation, Maynooth: National Center for Geocomputation, 2007 Search in Google Scholar

[36] Xie Z., Yan J., Kernel density estimation of traffic accidents in a network space. Comput. Environ.Urban Systems, 2008, 32, 396–406 in Google Scholar

[37] Okabe A., Okunuki K., Shiode S., The SANET toolbox: new methods for network spatial analysis. Transactions in GIS, 2006, 10,4, 535–550 in Google Scholar

[38] Okabe A., Okunuki K., Shiode S., SANET: a toolbox for spatial analysis on a network. Geogr. Anal., 2006, 38,1, 57–66 in Google Scholar

[39] Okabe A., Satoh T., Sugihara K., A kernel density estimation method for networks, its computational method and a GIS-based tool. Int. J. Geogr. Inf. Sci., 2009, 23,1, 7–32 in Google Scholar

[40] Jones G.D.B., Apulia-Vol. I: Neolithic Settlements in the Tavoliere. Thames and Hudson, London, 1987 Search in Google Scholar

[41] Bradford J.S.P., Buried landscapes in Southern Italy, Antiquity, 1949, 23, 58–72 10.1017/S0003598X00020056Search in Google Scholar

[42] Cassano S.M., La diffusione del Neolitico in Puglia. Convegno Nazionale sulla Preistoria-Protostoria-Storia della Daunia, San Severo, 1979 Search in Google Scholar

[43] Gravina A., Caratteri del Neolitico medio-finale nella Daunia centro-meridionale-6° Convegno Nazionale sulla Preistoria-Protostoria-Storia della Daunia, San Severo, 1984 Search in Google Scholar

[44] Gravina A., Masseria Istituto di Sangro un insediamento del neolitico medio-finale nella Daunia, 8° Convegno Nazionale sulla Preistoria-Protostoria-Storia della Daunia, San Severo, 1986 Search in Google Scholar

[45] Gravina A., Masseria Santa Giusta. Un insediamento del Neolitico antico nella Daunia, 9° convegno nazionale sulla Preistoria — Protostoria — Storia della Daunia, San Severo, 1987 Search in Google Scholar

[46] Mazzei M. (Eds.), La Daunia antica: dalla preistoria all’altomedioevo. Milano, Electa, 1984 Search in Google Scholar

[47] Delano Smith C., Daunia vetus. Terra, vita e mutamenti sulle coste del Tavoliere. Amministrazione Provinciale di Capitanata, Foggia, 1978 Search in Google Scholar

[48] Whitehouse R.D., Settlement and economy in Southern Italy in the Neothermal period. Proceeding of the Prehistoric Society, 1968, 34, 332–367 10.1017/S0079497X00013931Search in Google Scholar

[49] Whitehouse R.D., Società ed economia nel Neolitico italiano: la problematica dei fossati. In: La preistoria del Basso Belice e della sicilia meridionale nel quadro della preistoria siciliana e mediterranea. Società siciliana per le Storia Patria, Palermo, 1994, 275–285 Search in Google Scholar

[50] Jarman M.R., Webley D., Settlement and land use in Capitanata, Italy. In Higgs E.S. (Eds.), Papers in economic prehistory, Cambridge University Press, Ca, Cambridge, 1975, 177–221 Search in Google Scholar

[51] Sargent A., Changing settlements location and sub-sistence in later prehistoric Apulia, Italy, Origini, 2001, 23, 145–168 Search in Google Scholar

[52] Brown K.A., A passion for excavation. Labour requirements and possible functions for the ditches of the ”villaggi trincerati” of the Tavoliere, Apulia. The Accordia Research Papers, 1991, 2, 7–30 Search in Google Scholar

[53] Brown K.A., Settlement distribution and social organisation in the Neolithic of the Tavoliere, Apulia. In: Herring R., Whitehouse R., Wilkins J. (Eds.), Papers of the Fourth Conference of Italian Archaeology, The Archaeology of Power, 1991, 1, 9–25 Search in Google Scholar

[54] Malone C., The italian Neolithic: a synthesis of research. J. World Prehist., 2003, 17,3, 235–312 in Google Scholar

[55] Skeates R., The social dynamics of enclosure in the Neolithic of the Tavoliere south-east Italy. J. Mediterr. Archaeol., 2000, 13, 155–188 10.1558/jmea.v13i2.155Search in Google Scholar

[56] Volpe G., Gli insediamenti rurali dall’eta romana all’età tardoantca. Il mondo dell’archeologia, 1st. Treccani ed. Roma, 2002, 1, 911–917 Search in Google Scholar

[57] Sanderson D.C.W., Murphy S., Using simple portable OSL measurements and laboratory characterisation to help understand complex and heterogeneous sediment sequences for luminescence dating. Quat. Geochronology, 2010, 5, 299–305 in Google Scholar

[58] Radcliffe F., Paesaggi sepolti in Daunia — John Bradford e la ricerca archeologica dal cielo 1945/1957. Claudio Grenzi Editore, Foggia, 2006 Search in Google Scholar

[59] Bradford J.S.P., Ancient Landscapes: Studies in field archaeology, G. Bell and Sons, Ltd., London, 1957 Search in Google Scholar

[60] Tozzi C., Contributo alla conoscenza del villaggio neolitico di Ripa Tetta (Lucera). 6° convegno sulla Preistoria-Protostoria — Storia della Daunia, San Severo, 1984 Search in Google Scholar

[61] Biancofiore F., Note di antropologia economica delle comunit? neolitiche della Puglia centrosettentrionale, 5° convegno nazionale sulla Preistoria — Protostoria — Storia della Daunia. San Severo, 1983 Search in Google Scholar

[62] Gravina A., Le comunità neolitiche di Coppa Pallante, 5° convegno nazionale sulla Preistoria — Protostoria — Storia della Daunia. San Severo, 1983 Search in Google Scholar

[63] Caldara M., Pennetta L., Influenza del clima sul paesaggio neolitico del Basso Tavoliere di Puglia. In: Tinè V. (Ed.), Forme e tempi della neolitizzazione in Italia Meridionale e in Sicilia, Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli, 1996, 559–568 Search in Google Scholar

[64] Coppola D., Indagini paletnologiche su un insediamento neolitico in località Le Macchie (Polignano a Mare — Bari), 3° convegno nazionale sulla Preistoria — Protostoria — Storia della Daunia, San Severo, 1981 Search in Google Scholar

[65] Gladstone R.M., Ross I., Valdes P.J., Abe-Ouchi A., Braconnot P., Brewer S., Kageyama M., Kitoh A., Legrande A., Marti O., Ohgaito R., Otto-Bliesner B., Peltier W.R., Vettoretti G., Mid-Holocene NAO: A PMIP2 model intercomparison. Geophy. Res. Lett., 2005, 32, L16707, doi:10.1029/2005GL023596 in Google Scholar

[66] Fiorentino G., Caldara M., De Santis V., D’Oronzo C., Muntoni I.M., Simone O., Primavera M., Radina F., Climate changes and human-environment interactions in the Apulia region of southeastern Italy during the Neolithic period, Holocene, 2013, 23, 1297–1317, doi: 10.1177/0959683613486942 in Google Scholar

[67] Epanechnikov V.A., Nonparametric Estimation of a Multivariate Probability Density, Theor. Probab. Appl.+, 1969, 14, 153–158 in Google Scholar

[68] Kvamme K., Development and testing of Quantitative models. In: Judge W., Sebastian L. (Eds.), Quantifying the Present and Predicting the Past: Theory, Method and Application of Archaeological Predictive Modelling, Denver, 1988, 325–428. Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2014-5-29
Published in Print: 2014-3-1

© 2014 Versita Warsaw

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License.

Downloaded on 5.12.2023 from
Scroll to top button