A GIS-based viewshed analysis of Chacoan tower kivas in the US Southwest: Were they for seeing or to be seen?
For years it has been assumed that tower kivas were observation points, using their high vantage to relay communications across the landscape, or acting as defensive outposts among the local population. Few of these enigmatic structures have been excavated, and archaeologists have consequently turned to landscape survey methods to understand their role and function. Here, the authors contrast visibility and intervisibility within the surrounding viewshed of two tower kivas, Kin Ya'a and Haystack, providing an alternative perspective to traditional interpretations by suggesting that rather than acting as lookout points, they were instead central places built to be looked upon by the surrounding community.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Kantner, & Hobgood, R. (2016). A GIS-based viewshed analysis of Chacoan tower kivas in the US Southwest: were they for seeing or to be seen? Antiquity, 90(353), 1302–1317. https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2016.144