Date of Award

Summer 8-11-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Jeffrey Glover

Second Advisor

Dominique Rissolo

Third Advisor

Daniel Bigman


This study utilizes an integrated remote sensing approach to augment settlement pattern research in the Yalahau Region of northern Quintana Roo, Mexico. The region has a long history of human occupation and an environment ranging from coasts, freshwater wetlands, forests, to fields and towns all above a porous karst geology. By utilizing various sensors (LiDAR, GeoEye and Landsat) and collection methods (satellite, aerial) as well as post-processing (band combinations, component analyses and indices) and cross-referencing the data, it is possible to generate a signature, which strongly correlates with evidence of prehistoric occupation. Field verification of a selection of identified signatures was conducted to assess the presence of human cultural material. The results of this investigation are presented together with other regional settlement pattern data in order to assess the status of a number of methodological and archaeological questions and supplement other regional data already available.