Investigating the archaeological potential of rockshelters : an example from Crawford and Perry Counties, Indiana
Problems with the identification and interpretation of rockshelter and cave sites were recognized in the archaeological literature from Indiana. Often, when these sites are identified in archaeological research and survey reports, realistic views of the potential cultural significance they may actually have is lacking. Based on data obtained from recent rockshelter surveys in southern Indiana, a method for evaluating the archaeological potential of rockshelter sites is presented. This methodology systematically accounts for geomorphological and geological factors as well as environmental considerations. Geographic information system (GIS) software is used to assist in the analysis and visualization of the variables associated with these rockshelters. While stressing the importance of these sites as potentially providing conditions for the preservation of cultural material, this method can also be used as a model for further studies on this topic.