GIS and Landscape Archaeology along the Anacostia River: Geoarchaeological Study of Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling

12:48 Published September 21, 2016

Diego Negron & Kenneth Roy & Paula Bienenfeld, Marstel-Day; Dan Wagner, Geo-Sci Consultants; Gregory Katz, Louis Berger. The Anacostia River was transformed in the 19th and 20th Centuries, as the river channel was dredged and the river’s lowland flats were filled. Marshland became industrial space in a relatively short span of history. Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB) occupies a portion of the east bank of the Anacostia River that was once heavily inhabited by Native Americans, and in the late nineteenth century became farmland and then a military airfield. Many archaeological sites have been identified at the base in surprising settings, frequently buried beneath fill. Marstel-Day and Louis Berger recently conducted a GIS-based landscape modeling exercise to assist the base with its cultural resource management mandates. The model directly compared mapped topography in the 19thcentury with modern, LiDAR-derived elevations, and used geomorphological soil cores and trenches to refine the model and gain a better understanding of the vertical and horizontal extents of fill deposits at the installation.

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