The creation and application of archaeological site predictive models and the resulting predictive surface mapping using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is an important component of Skelly and Loy’s archaeological studies. The predictive models organize complex subsets of environmental, cultural, and historical factors and translate them spatially into predictive surface mapping which reveals the relative potential for a particular area to contain archaeological resources. Skelly and Loy has successfully completed dozens of archaeological predictive models/surfaces for project planning covering thousands of square miles in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia.
Predictive modeling and the construction of predictive surfaces for pre-contact and historic period archaeological site locations has become an increasingly valuable tool in planning. The creation of archaeological predictive surfaces promotes cost-effectiveness and planning utility. To be effective, a predictive surface must be flexible and inexpensive to apply and be capable of projecting likely archaeological site distributions across a specific geographic area. The use of predictive surfaces early in project planning allows the proposed project to avoid the destruction of archaeological sites and to potentially limit expenses associated with archaeological survey, assessment, and mitigation.
These aspects are important in community planning for historic preservation and can work in concert with other cultural resources identification processes. Planning and/or zoning decisions based on the results of the predictive model can help communities concentrate efforts to protect significant archaeological resources while better controlling public fund expenditures and promoting heritage tourism and historic preservation. The application of GIS technology to archaeological predictive modeling results is a planning tool that can be easily adapted and expanded to provide generalized information for long-term planning as well as information for more specific problem-oriented situations.
Background Research and Context Development
HABS HAER Recordations
Historic Structures Survey
National Register Evaluations
Open End Contracts
Phase I Archaeological Survey
Phase II Archaeological Testing
Phase III Archaeological Mitigation
Public Outreach and Education