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Making Time For Space At Çatalhöyük: GIS as a tool for exploring intra-site spatiotemporality within complex stratigraphic sequences

Taylor, James Stuart (2016) Making Time For Space At Çatalhöyük: GIS as a tool for exploring intra-site spatiotemporality within complex stratigraphic sequences. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the inherent temporality embedded within the complex stratigraphic sequence of the ‘tell’ site of Çatalhöyük, an important Anatolian Neolithic settlement situated upon the Konya Plain, South-Central Turkey. Recently the Çatalhöyük Research Project has digitized all of its single context excavation data, fully integrating their digital archive within an intra-site GIS, as an aid to analysis and interpretation. This process of digitisation excludes the Harris matrix, which, despite being integral to the recording system, and the main source of relative temporal data for the development of the site, remains an analogue mode of analysis. This research digitally visualises the stratigraphic sequence, both dynamically and intuitively (moving beyond conventional archaeological methods of phasing and periodisation), utilising the temporal capabilities of ArcGIS 10 to generate robust and dynamic intra-site spatiotemporal models. By focusing upon two case studies as a ‘proof-of-method’ (a ‘typical’ sequence of two fully excavated superjacent buildings – Buildings 65 and 56, and one unusually large and well preserved burnt building – Building 77), the experimental appending of stratigraphically-based temporal data onto the spatial component of an excavation dataset within a GIS, and subsequent analysis of associated material culture within its spatiotemporal context, has proved an innovative way to articulate and visualise the site’s space through time. This represents a transparent, repeatable and critical approach to post-excavation analysis, using current computing technologies. Focusing upon integrated spatiotemporal analysis of excavation data and associated material culture within these models also facilitates greater understanding of the relationship between space and time in archaeology within the data structure of primary recording in archaeological excavations. The resultant spatiotemporal animations combine this data as a new type of ‘visual narrative’ that may help illustrate the social meaning of these structures, potentially telling the bigger story of the site within its wider context of the Anatolian Neolithic.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Archaeology, Çatalhöyük, Anatolian Neolithic, Spatiotemporality, Methodology, GIS, Stratigraphy, Reflexive Methods.
Academic Units: The University of York > Archaeology (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.689342
Depositing User: Mr James Stuart Taylor
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2016 14:46
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:34
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13500

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