© 2013 by Amelia Dall. All rights reserved.

SAVING SITES: ONE LOOTING STEP AT A TIME

 

UTILIZING GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (GIS) AND GOOGLE EARTH

TO ANALYZE LOOTING PATTERNS OF NASCA SITES

To be able to preserve looted sites, one must identify the patterns and develop prevention strategies to avoid further looting. The illegal antiquities trade has had its’ roots in the archaeological field since the beginning of time. One of the reasons why looting happens is because of the collectors’ widespread interest in the rich, cultural materials that are found at cultural heritage sites. Therefore, preservation of looted sites is critical in archaeology. The dire threat of looted artifacts exists in cultural heritage sites, especially in countries that have few-to-little resources to develop and implement prevention strategies.

Therefore, utilizing modern technology is an important and effective method of understanding the deep implications of looting, specifically in Nasca. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and satellite imagery from Google Earth can provide a method for analyzing looted pits in Nasca, Peru, and to develop a tracking method to identify the range of looting over the years. The approach aims to lower the cost of prevention strategies and to implement an adequate prevention of already looted pits, which in turn can be used to hamper any further looting.

Nasca Double-Spout pottery

Time Period                                                                Culture                                            Date

Late Horizon                                                                 Inca                                               1476 – 1532 C.E.

Late Intermediate                                                          Tiza                                               1000 – 1476 C.E.

Middle Horizon                                                             Wari, Loro                                    650 – 1000 C.E.

Early Intermediate                                                         Nasca                                            1 C.E. – 650 C.E.

Early Horizon                                                                Paracas, Proto-Nasca                    900 B.C.E. – 1 C.E.

Initial                                                                             Hunters and Gatherers                  1800 – 900 B.C.E.

Pre-Ceramic                                                                  Hunters and Gatherers                   3500 – 1800 B.C.E.

 

                                                                                                (Conlee 2015)

Shown here are one of the many polygons of looted archaeological sites in the Nasca, Aja, and Tierras Blancas regions. 

The polygons' area measurements are then uploaded into ArcGIS. The program calculates data from the measurements and I determine and compare the results (below). 

Total data of each patterns, 2002 vs. 2016:

- Time Period

- Site Type

- Side

- Elevation

Total data of each patterns,

2002 vs. 2002 and 2016 vs. 2016:

- Time Period

- Site Type

- Side

- Elevation

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