Investigation of Inter-analyst Variability in Stone-walled Structure Classification

Hunt, Tamsin
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For many years stone-walled structures have been classified into different groups using aerial photography. The development of technology such as Google Earth and Geographic Information Systems has resulted in an increase in such classifications. What must be considered, however, is to what extent the results differ depending on the person analysing the structures. A study has been conducted by three different analysts, classifying the stone-walled structures south of the Suikerbosrand Game Reserve. A statistical and visual comparison of the three sets of analyses using Google Earth, QGIS and CrimeStat. These methods showed that variability is obvious between the sets of classifications. It is then important to consider what causes the variability in the classifications and how it can be remedied. This is important as variability in the classifications of stone-walled structures will have an effect on the larger interpretations of the sites and the people affiliated with them.
BSc Honours research report in Archaeology
pre-colonial, stone walled structures, iron age, southern africa, inter-analyst variability, classififcation