prepared for Jeff Logsdon and Donna Howe, Dallas County Conservation Board, Perry, Iowa
prepared by Paul F. Anderson, Department of Landscape Architecture, Department of Agronomy, Land Use Analysis Laboratory, Iowa State University
The Raccoon River Greenbelt was created in 1989 to develop and implement management policies and plans for cultural and natural resources. Concern for preserving archaeological sites in the Greenbelt increased recently due to extensive flooding in 1993 and rapid urbanization in the past decade. In 1993, the Dallas County Conservation Board initiated an archaeological study to document known sites and locate additional sites.
The Greenbelt GIS database, developed primarily from 1989 to 1992, was used for modeling 85 known prehistoric archaeological sites in a 208 square mile portion of the Greenbelt. The raster database included data on land cover, soils, elevation, and significant sites (plant, animal, historic, archaeologic, geologic, and hydrologic).
Descriptive modeling compared characteristics of the 85 known sites with those in a sample of non-sites. Measures of frequency, cumulative percentage, chi square, significance, and areal correspondence identified four variables on which to base the predictive models: proximity to stream confluences, proximity to stream valleys, soil landscape position, and historic vegetation. Variables were selected by Fred Finney and Cindy Peterson of the Office of the State Archaeologist.
Predictive modeling used logistical multiple linear regression (logit model) techniques to identify areas with high potential for additional sites. Results of two models were compared using measures of mean, significance, cumulative percentage, percentage correctly classified, and improvement over chance. Results from Model 2 showed a 55.7 percent improvement over chance. At a cutpoint score of 16 (0.44 on a scale of 0 to 1), 84.8 percent of known sites were correctly classified by Model 2 and 70.9 percent of non-sites were correctly classified. Results from Model 3 showed only a 51.4 percent improvement over chance. At a cutpoint score of 19 (0.56), 89.7 percent of known sites were correctly classified by Model 3 and 61.7 percent of non-sites were correctly classified. The predictive models will be validated through additional field surveys in 1995.
There is a need to validate the predictive models through additional field surveys. Refinement of the models is possible by comparing landscape characteristics of known sites with landscape characteristics of known non-sites. County Conservation Board officials plan to extend the survey and modeling work to other parts of the Greenbelt to assist in making decisions about landscape management.
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Last update: 23 December 96