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ARCA can formulate a geoarchaeological strategy for site investigation, both at the outset of a project and prior to its individual stages. A first stage of works commonly comprises an examination of the existing geological resources pertaining to an area, such as maps and archives held by national and/or regional geological agencies, together with geotechnical borehole records collected by similar bodies or developers. These can be used to developan outline geomorphological map against which human activity can be mapped and thereby correlated with landscape processes.
Although geotechnical and other geological borehole data are rarely of sufficient resolution to address archaeological questions directly, they can be manipulated to provide outline deposit models for sites that are to be developed. ARCA has extensive experience of using geotechnical and other borehole data to generate deposit models (using Rockware ™ RockWorks and ESRI ™ ArcGIS software), as well as composite stratigraphic cross sections.
Geomorphological maps and knowledge of the three-dimensional distribution of stratigraphic units are essential source material in the development of the site location and archaeological preservation models that are the culmination of desktop studies. In addition to the production of deposit models, ARCA also have expertise in a range of other desk-based data modelling and analysis techniques, including multivariate data analysis, and Bayesian modelling of radiocarbon dates.
• 3-D and 2-D deposit modelling • Production of composite cross sections using borehole data • Statistical analysis of palaeoenvironmental and archaeological data • Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dates • ‘Classical’ and Bayesian Age vs. Depth sediment deposition models