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4.4 Graphical outputs as interpretations

Wheatley and Gillings (2002, 90) have stated that 'GIS permits the derivation of new information'. They also provide a list of possible graphical outputs (ibid, 168), including:

These results can be achieved with all possible data from many different GIS analyses. Harris and Lock (1995) viewed these kinds of two-dimensional maps as visualisations.

In the case of graphical outputs we are talking about more than mere visualisations. Since densities and classes are a result of archaeological observations, and 'significance' and 'probability' are based on complete archaeological evaluation and reasoning, the results are interpretations per se. Furthermore, they have significance only when interpreted further. This suggests that GIS makes sense only if based on archaeological premises and in archaeological theoretical contexts.

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