Abstract - Erin Friedman

Studies have been conducted using ArcMap to generate viewshed models to help understand Pre-Columbian island migration through the Caribbean. Often, the limitations in scale and resolution result in over generalized inter-island viewshed models.  In addition, these viewshed models are based on placing the viewer from the highest elevation with little connection to the spatial location of sites and settlements.

Instead, the present study determined possible maritime pathways from the vantage point of travelers. The focus of this paper was to model seasonal currents and coastal settlements between Antigua and Barbuda in order to better assess what coastal sites and their visibility can reveal about inter-island connectivity and potential ancient maritime routes and paths utilized by Pre-Columbian peoples.

Our methodological procedure and analyses enabled us to determine to what extent the coastal areas for both Antigua and Barbuda are visible from the observer located between the two islands at sea. While Barbuda is half the size of Antigua, its visibility is significantly more limited due to its low lying elevation and lack of prominent landscape features. Of great significance is that on the basis of these results more complex questions of settlement location and land use can be explored.


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