Presentation Title

Ancient Pathways: Application of Least Cost Paths in Los Horcones, Chiapas, Mexico

Faculty Mentor

Claudia Garcia-Des Lauriers, Kyung In Huh, Michael Reibel

Start Date

17-11-2018 8:30 AM

End Date

17-11-2018 8:45 AM

Location

C153

Session

Oral 1

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

The archaeological site of Los Horcones is located in the Pacific Coast of Chiapas, Mexico. Previous archaeological research conducted by Dr. Garcia-Des Lauriers has described the site as a “gateway community” that actively implemented and used complex trade networks during the Early Classic Period (250-600 CE). In addition, the site also showcases the influence of the city of Teotihuacan that had spread throughout the region. With the use of GIS the landscape becomes the central focus in order to visually present the manner by which these exchanges and interactions may have taken place. A least cost path model was used to create paths which took into account the elevation of the terrain with the lowest amount of strenuous expenditure that an individual would have to undertake while traversing the landscape. Toblers Hiking function was integrated to formulate distance into time increments, allowing one to further visualize the use and extent of these trade routes. These routes managed to transport goods from a point of origin to a destination in a highly organized and efficient manner. However, beyond their functionality, they were used as an important form of communication throughout the region. This project emphasizes previous archaeological research conducted at Los Horcones and presents the benefits of collaboration between the fields of archaeology and GIS.

Summary of research results to be presented

Eleven trade routes that connect different archaeological sites throughout Mesoamerica to Los Horcones were successfully generated with the designed Least Cost Path model. These paths fulfilled the criteria that were initially set, to provide the least amount of physical strain for the individual. In addition, to having generated path with the lowest slope, corridors were also integrated to highlight human movement across the landscape. The historic period plays a major role in the use of these routes as the absence of wheeled vehicles and large land mammals caused individuals to be the main means for transporting all goods. These corridors extend beyond the paths and showcase available terrain that falls within our set criteria. All of these aspects were designed and modeled to create a visual representation that may be showcased as both a map that holds all of the mandatory cartographic elements or as a multi-media map in which viewers are able to interact and navigate these routes via Google Earth. Collectively, these results present techniques from both disciplines of Anthropology and Geography.

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Nov 17th, 8:30 AM Nov 17th, 8:45 AM

Ancient Pathways: Application of Least Cost Paths in Los Horcones, Chiapas, Mexico

C153

The archaeological site of Los Horcones is located in the Pacific Coast of Chiapas, Mexico. Previous archaeological research conducted by Dr. Garcia-Des Lauriers has described the site as a “gateway community” that actively implemented and used complex trade networks during the Early Classic Period (250-600 CE). In addition, the site also showcases the influence of the city of Teotihuacan that had spread throughout the region. With the use of GIS the landscape becomes the central focus in order to visually present the manner by which these exchanges and interactions may have taken place. A least cost path model was used to create paths which took into account the elevation of the terrain with the lowest amount of strenuous expenditure that an individual would have to undertake while traversing the landscape. Toblers Hiking function was integrated to formulate distance into time increments, allowing one to further visualize the use and extent of these trade routes. These routes managed to transport goods from a point of origin to a destination in a highly organized and efficient manner. However, beyond their functionality, they were used as an important form of communication throughout the region. This project emphasizes previous archaeological research conducted at Los Horcones and presents the benefits of collaboration between the fields of archaeology and GIS.