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Visibility studies in archaeology: a review and case study

Lake, MW; Woodman, PE; (2003) Visibility studies in archaeology: a review and case study. Environment and Planning B , 30 (5) 689 - 707. 10.1068/b29122. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper describes the history and current state of archaeological visibility studies. The first part is a survey of both GIS (geographic information systems) and non-GIS studies of visibility by archaeologists, which demonstrates how advances in GIS visibility studies have tended to recapitulate, albeit over a compressed timescale, theoretically driven developments in non-GIS studies. The second part presents an example of the kind of methodological development required for the use of GIS to contribute to the agenda set by certain strands of a more humanistic archaeology. An algorithm developed to retrieve various summaries of the inclination at which points on the horizon are visible from a specified viewpoint was applied to nineteen recumbent stone circles in the Grampian region of Scotland. The results suggest that these summaries provide a useful tool for 'unpacking' what archaeologists mean when they claim that the topographic setting of certain stone circles creates an 'impression of circularity'.

Type: Article
Title: Visibility studies in archaeology: a review and case study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1068/b29122
Language: English
Additional information: This is the authors' accepted manuscript of this published article. Lake, MW & Woodman, PE (2003). The definitive, peer-reviewed and edited version of this article is published in Environment and Planning B, 30, 689-707 (2003): http://dx.doi.org/10.1068/b29122
Keywords: GIS, TOPOGRAPHY
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/77428
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