Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Anthropology (MA)

Degree Level





Kenneth Kvamme

Committee Member

Benjamin Vining

Second Committee Member

Jami Lockhart


Archaeology, Geospatial, Israel, Magnetic Susceptibility, Palestine, Statistics


Tel Abu Shusha, located in the Jezreel Valley of Palestine, is a large-scale archaeological site possibly identified as the cities of Biblical Gaba or Roman Gaba Hippaeon/Gaba Philippi. Surface archaeological survey of the surrounding area, conducted by the Jezreel Valley Regional Project during 2017, revealed extensive assemblages of visible settlement features dating primarily to middle and late Islamic periods. This research seeks to answer questions of settlement decision-making and societal organization, by integrating archaeological, textual, environmental, and geospatial data sources. In addition to visual interpretation, Kolmogorov-Smirnov nonparametric tests are used to gain insight on environmental settlement preferences; Ripley’s K analysis aids in interpretation of multiscalar point patterning; and pure locational (k-means) and unconstrained clustering methods provide information regarding social organization, on both a larger scale and within four smaller case study areas. Results suggest that residential neighborhoods were often located with easy access to resources, in open areas to accommodate larger populations, and with some defensive advantages. Production centers, in contrast, were placed in high, flat areas with plentiful sunlight, likely near raw materials. Lifeways differed greatly, with a central residential hub centered on Abu Shusha, a northern region with intensive agricultural activity, and a more varied southern area with heavy production and a more household-based settlement style. Additionally, low-density magnetic susceptibility measurements were taken within the four focused case study areas, with mixed results. Local correlation methods aid in identification of settlement soils in certain areas, particularly near production centers, while other grid blocks exhibit more confused magnetic patterns.