Analysis of feature intervisibility and cumulative visibility using GIS, Bayesian and spatial statistics: a study from the Mandara Mountains, northern Cameroon.
The locations of diy-geδ-bay (DGB) sites in the Mandara Mountains, northern Cameroon are hypothesized to occur as a function of their ability to see and be seen from points on the surrounding landscape. A series of geostatistical, two-way and Bayesian logistic regression analyses were performed to test two hypotheses related to the intervisibility of the sites to one another and their visual prominence on the landscape. We determine that the intervisibility of the sites to one another is highly statistically significant when compared to 10 stratified-random permutations of DGB sites. Bayesian logistic regression additionally demonstrates that the visibility of the sites to points on the surrounding landscape is statistically significant. The location of sites appears to have also been selected on the basis of lower slope than random permutations of sites. Using statistical measures, many of which are not commonly employed in archaeological research, to evaluate aspects of visibility on the landscape, we conclude that the placement of DGB sites improved their conspicuousness for enhanced ritual, social cooperation and/or competition purposes.
Wright, DK; MacEachern, S; Lee, J
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