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Mapping invisibility: GIS approaches to the analysis of hiding and seclusion.

Gillings, M., 2015. Mapping invisibility: GIS approaches to the analysis of hiding and seclusion. Journal of Archaeological Science, 62, 1 - 14.

Full text available as:

Mapping_invisibility_revised_draft.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.


Official URL:

DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2015.06.015


Analyses of visibility have become a commonplace within landscape-based archaeological research, whether through rich description, simple mapping or formal modelling and statistical analysis, the latter increasingly carried out using the viewshed functionality of GIS. The research presented here challenges current obsessions with what is visible to focus instead upon the interpretative benefits of considering the invisible and the complex interplay of visibility and concealment that frequently accompany landscape movement and experience. Having highlighted the difficulties in analysing relational properties such as invisibility and hiding using traditional archaeological techniques, a series of new GIS methodologies are presented and evaluated in the context of an original study of a series of remarkably small, visually non-intrusive prehistoric megalithic monuments. The results serve to challenge dominant interpretations of these enigmatic sites as well as demonstrating the utility, value and potential of the GIS-based approaches developed.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Science & Technology ; Social Sciences ; Life Sciences & Biomedicine ; Physical Sciences ; Anthropology ; Archaeology ; Geosciences, Multidisciplinary ; Geology ; GIS ; Viewshed ; Hiding ; Concealment ; Affordance ; VISIBILITY ; LANDSCAPE ; ALGORITHM
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:33449
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:21 Feb 2020 16:41
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:20


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