Seeing is not believing: unresolved issues in archaeological visibility analysis

Gillings, M. and Wheatley, D. (2001) Seeing is not believing: unresolved issues in archaeological visibility analysis. In, Slapšak, Bozidar (eds.) On the good use of geographical information systems in archaeological landscape studies. Proceedings of the COST G2 Working Group 2 round table Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 25-36.


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This paper reflects on some of the currently unresolved issues in the formal analysis of visibility and intervisibility in archaeology. It reviews the history and disciplinary context of the analysis of visibility, explains why it is such an important theme in archaeological explanation, reviews recent GIS-based approaches, and identifies some of the unresolved methodological problems with these types of analysis. It is argued that, although recent approaches are valuable and interesting, existing applications have not adequately addressed issues such as viewer-target distance effects, direction of view and temporal changes (such as seasonal or diurnal cycles).

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 9289408537 (hardback)
Related URLs:
Keywords: archaeology, GIS, Geographic Information Systems, methodology, viewshed, visibility analysis, cumulative viewshed analysis
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > Archaeology
ePrint ID: 28803
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 09 May 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:54

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