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Dress and Social Identities: the role of GIS in mapping social structure in the central Italian Iron Age cemetery of Osteria dell'Osa

Lisa Cougle

School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Australian National University, ACT 0200. Email: lisa.cougle@anu.edu.au

Cite this as: L. Cougle 2008 'Dress and Social Identities: the role of GIS in mapping social structure in the central Italian Iron Age cemetery of Osteria dell'Osa', Internet Archaeology 24. http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.24.1

Summary

Close-up of Osteria dell'Osa cemetery, northern section, distribution of Phase II female burials with multiple fibulae

This article discusses the application of GIS technology to examination of the social significance of mortuary dress and personal ornament. Using published data from Phase II of the Iron Age Italian cemetery of Osteria dell'Osa (Bietti Sestieri 1992a), I aim to show how GIS can illuminate aspects of gender, kinship and status systems that might not emerge from traditional statistical analyses. The methodological challenges of analysing a large body of non-geo-referenced data are discussed, and one approach to presenting such data in a GIS environment is explored. Inference of social determinants for cemetery layout from spatial data presented in ArcMap is critically examined. Spatial patterning is identified that suggests social identity and kinship were both important factors in the selection of dress and personal ornaments for burial.

Bietti Sestieri, A.M. (ed) 1992a La necropoli laziale di Osteria dell'Osa. Rome.

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