Paper No. 13
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
RETRIEVING ARCHEOLOGICAL INFORMATION FROM HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS USING GIS
Valuable archaeological information exists in historical documents that are stored in publicly or privately owned rare book collections and archives. An early archeological atlas of Michigan's Native American trails, villages and burial sites was found in the Joint Archives of Hope College, a repository of rare and historical documents. The maps in the atlas were difficult to utilize because of restricted access to the book, the large size of the pages, and the lack of modern day reference points such as current geographic coordinates. A project was undertaken to extract archeological data from the atlas in order to make the information accessible to present day researchers. Using a standard 8Ex 11Escanner, sections of the atlas were scanned into a computer. These sections were then imported into ArcView 8.1 where they were geo-referenced with maps downloaded from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Information concerning Native American burial sites, villages, burial mounds, gardens, and trails was digitized from the original maps and organized into separate layers in ArcView. These layers were then combined with present-day road, stream, township and topographical data. The resulting map clearly shows archaeological sites in relation to current landmarks such as roads and towns. This information is intended to aid researchers in their efforts to locate and protect current archaeological sites and to predict the locations of new sites.