Database design, archaeological classification and geographic information systems: A case study from southeast Queensland

Smith, James Reginald (2000). Database design, archaeological classification and geographic information systems: A case study from southeast Queensland PhD Thesis, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland.

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Author Smith, James Reginald
Thesis Title Database design, archaeological classification and geographic information systems: A case study from southeast Queensland
School, Centre or Institute School of Social Science
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2000
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Assoc Professor J. Hall
Total pages 360
Collection year 2002
Language eng
Subjects 2101 Archaeology
0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience
750901 Understanding Australia's past
Formatted abstract The genesis of this dissertation lies in my initial forays into the world of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the frustrations encountered when trying to extract information from the local State Government's digital database and Site Index. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage) is the statutory body which oversees all heritage related matters in the Australian State of Queensland. The legislation it administers is the Cultural Record (Landscapes Queensland and Queensland Estate) Act 1987. Landscapes Queensland refers to those areas of Queensland that have been or are being used or modified by human actions and that are significant from an anthropological, cultural, historical, prehistoric or social perspective. The Queensland Estate refers to those areas or features of Queensland which exhibit evidence of human occupation which is at least 30 years old. Under this act the EPA is the primary custodian of all heritage and archaeological information. As such, the management of this information within a controlled environment should be a primary task of the EPA. As will be shown this is not the case.

I was "seduced by the glitz" (Limp 1996) of GIS when I first began this thesis, although I could also see the potential of GIS as a tool for bodn research and management archaeologists (e.g., see Smith and Hall 1996). However, as the seductive glitz faded I began to develop an interest in the foundations on which the success or failure of a GIS-based project must ultimately rest: the database underpinning the system.

Thus the thesis aims to provide both research and management archaeologists with an Archaeological Information System (AIS) (Arroyo-Bishop and Zarzosa 1995:43) for analysing, recording, storing and managing baseline archaeological data in a digital environment. In doing so, it demonstrates how the generation of a well-founded knowledge base enhances both baseline quantitative and comparative analyses in a manner not currently possible.
Keyword Geographic information systems.
Archaeological dating.
Additional Notes The author has given permission for this thesis to be made open access.

 
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