Monday, March 11, 2013

The Distribution of Rock Pile Sites in the Eastern US

Curtis Hoffman writes:
This is a schematic map of the over 3,300 stone sites currently in my database, in 100 km blocks using the UTMs for boundaries.  Note the clear separation between the Southeast and Northeast data, and also the absence of sites on the coastal plain from Georgia to Delaware.  More data is coming in, so this shouldn’t be considered final – but it does give you an idea of how the sites are distributed.


Tim MacSweeney said...

Just this morning I was wondering about how features are defined:
Now I guess I need to know how a site is defined - I live by a village site by an agricultural floodplain by a fishing site connected to a bunch of other types of sites along streams and trails bordered by stone remnants that all seem to have been connected to other sites etc. What's a UTM boundarie?

pwax said...

I think topo map coords are UTM.

I always define sites as separate when you cannot see one from the other.

Anonymous said...

This map makes me feel dumber then a rock in a rock pile.

Tim MacSweeney said...

Wikipedia believes that: he Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) geographic coordinate system uses a 2-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system to give locations on the surface of the Earth. It is a horizontal position representation, i.e. it is used to identify locations on the Earth independently of vertical position, but differs from the traditional method of latitude and longitude in several respects.
The UTM system is not a single map projection. The system instead divides the Earth into sixty zones, each a six-degree band of longitude, and uses a secant transverse Mercator projection in each zone.

pwax said...

Does this data coincide with where there are active groups exploring? Putnam County looks pretty active, as does Alabama/Georgia. Also my are in Mass. and west of here in the upper Hudson. I do know a group of people in each of those places.
So it is a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem: no sites to find, or no one looking? or no one looking because there are no sites to find?

James Gage said...

It is my understanding that Hoffman's database comes from NEARA site files, State Archaeologists office files for the various states withing the study area, site files from researchers like Peter Waksman, the Gages, Doug Schwartz, and others. Some of the high site #'s represent ongoing intensive site survey work in certain geographical regions. Some regions are certainly under-represented due to limited exploration. Other factors that may come into play are the availability of stone in a particular area, the impact of urbanization (i.e. site loss), and mis-classification of sites as agricultural.

James Gage