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Minnesota Statewide Archaeological Predictive Model

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Phase 1

Phase 1 models

The first phase of Mn/Model (1996) developed models for only 29 counties in Minnesota. These were the counties surveyed by the Minnesota Statewide Archaeological Survey (MnSAS) between 1977 and 1980. It was assumed at the time that these counties would have the best available archaeological database.


Phase 1 Research

The research team's vision for the Mn/Model project at the time of Phase 1 is documented in the Draft Research Design. The research design that was followed is documented in the Mn/Model Final Report for Phases 1-3. The modeling regions used were Anfinson's Archaeological Resource Regions. The archaeological database was composed strictly of MNSAS sites, as this survey was assumed to have had a 'probabilistic' survey design.


Phase 1 Results

Much of the time spent in Phase 1 was for converting data and developing standards and procedures for modeling. Environmental data were prioritized based on their quality and availability statewide. Environmental variables were defined, tested, then refined to eliminate apparent problems. The Phase 1 models were rather simple and had low predictive power, predicting sites only 22%-54% better than by random chance alone.


Lessons learned from Phase 1

Analysis of the Phase 1 results suggested several necessary changes. We requested changes to the archaeological database to provide more information for stratifying by site types. We expanded the analysis to include data from probabilistic surveys, CRM surveys, and Phase 3 and National Register sites. We eliminated some environmental variables from the analysis and defined new ones. We considered the effects of removing single artifacts and lithic scatters from the archaeological database.


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MnModel was financed with Transportation Enhancement and State Planning and Research funds from the Federal Highway Administration and a Minnesota Department of Transportation match.


Copyright Notice

The MnModel process and the predictive models it produced are copyrighted by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), 2000. They may not be used without MnDOT's consent.