cover of book

Least Cost Analysis of Social Landscapes: Archaeological Case Studies
edited by Devin A. White and Sarah L Surface-Evans
University of Utah Press, 2012
Cloth: 978-1-60781-171-8 | eISBN: 978-1-60781-199-2
Library of Congress Classification CC77.L35L43 2012
Dewey Decimal Classification 930.1


A growing number of archaeologists are applying Geographic Information Science (GIS) technologies to their research problems and questions. Advances in GIS and its use across disciplines allows for collaboration and enables archaeologists to ask ever more sophisticated questions and develop increasingly elaborate models on numerous aspects of past human behavior. Least cost analysis (LCA) is one such avenue of inquiry. While least cost studies are not new to the social sciences in general, LCA is relatively new to archaeology; until now, there has been no systematic exploration of its use within the field.

This edited volume presents a series of case studies illustrating the intersection of archaeology and LCA modeling at the practical, methodological, and theoretical levels. Designed to be a guidebook for archaeologists interested in using LCA in their own research, it presents a wide cross-section of practical examples for both novices and experts. The contributors to the volume showcase the richness and diversity of LCA’s application to archaeological questions, demonstrate that even simple applications can be used to explore sophisticated research questions, and highlight the challenges that come with injecting geospatial technologies into the archaeological research process.

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