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A predictive model for archaeological potential for a locality in the Interior Plateau of British Columbia Oriente, Damon

Abstract

Consideration of heritage resources in forestry in British Columbia was mandated by the Forest Practices Code in 1993. Heritage resource planning and management in forestry, however, is often not as easily accomplished as traditional conventional scientific concerns. This is in part due to the nature of the resource. It is considered that less than half of the extant archaeological sites in the Province are known, and the physical presence of many sites are not readily apparent or are difficult to determine without physical examination. This study utilizes normally available biophysical data in digital form to develop a predictive model for heritage potential for a locality in the British Columbia interior. A specific set of environmental criteria are selected, the study site is analyzed for areas satisfying the model criteria, and the appropriate areas are overlaid graphically to produce a predictive map. Finally, the predictive map is coregistered with data of known archaeological sites to evaluate the model. Results from the testing overlay indicate that the area described as having high archaeological potential contains 73% of the currently known sites. These results suggest a positive relationship between the combination of the selected environmental criteria and the location of known sites for the study area. The paper includes research into other predictive models and related archaeological literature, an overview of interior British Columbia pre-history, and reports on consultation with Native Indian persons who live in the area.

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