SEAHORS: Spatial Exploration of ArcHaeological Objects in R Shiny

10.24072/pcjournal.289 - Peer Community Journal, Volume 3 (2023), article no. e55.

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This paper presents SEAHORS, an R shiny application available as an R package, dedicated to the intra-site spatial analysis of piece-plotted archaeological remains. This open-source script generates 2D and 3D scatter and density plots for archaeological objects located with cartesian coordinates. Many different GIS software already exist for this, but they mostly require specific skills and training to be used and are rarely designed for the particular needs of archaeological applications. The goal of SEAHORS is to make the two and three-dimensional intra-site spatial exploration of archaeological data as user-friendly as possible, in order to give the opportunity to researchers not familiar with GIS and R software to utilise such approaches. SEAHORS has an easily accessible interface and can import data from text and Excel files (.csv and .xls/xlsx respectively) without preformatting. The application includes functions to concatenate columns and to merge databases, for example when spatial data (XYZ coordinates) and analytical data (e.g. taxonomical attribution of faunal remains, typo-technological attributes of artifacts, etc.) are stored in separate files. SEAHORS can generate five types of plots: 3D, 2D and density plots, as well as 2D plots by slices (i.e. subdivisions according to a third dimension) and 2D plots with a modification of the angle of projection (i.e. to explore spatial organization without the constraints of the field grid orientation). SEAHORS has visualization tools with several sorting and formatting options (color, size, etc.) applicable to coordinates and all possible analytical variables (i.e. levels, spits, identified species, taphonomical alterations, etc.). Orthophotos can also be imported and directly used in the program. The application also allows the grouping of objects into new variables by selecting items on the interactive 2D plots. We present an overview of the application’s functions by using the case study of the Cassenade Paleolithic site (France).

Published online:
DOI: 10.24072/pcjournal.289
Keywords: archaeological methods; data visualization; spatial analysis; R shiny application; post-excavation stratigraphies
Royer, Aurélien 1; Discamps, Emmanuel 2; Plutniak, Sébastien 3; Thomas, Marc 2

1 Biogéosciences, UMR 6282 CNRS, Université de Bourgogne, 6 Boulevard Gabriel, 21000 Dijon, France
2 UMR 5608 TRACES, CNRS & Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès, Toulouse 31058, France
3 CNRS/Université de Tours, UMR 7324 CITERES, Laboratoire Archéologie et Territoires, 40 Rue James Watt, ActiCampus 1, 37200, Tours, France
License: CC-BY 4.0
Copyrights: The authors retain unrestricted copyrights and publishing rights
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     title = {SEAHORS: {Spatial} {Exploration} of {ArcHaeological} {Objects} in {R} {Shiny}},
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Royer, Aurélien; Discamps, Emmanuel; Plutniak, Sébastien; Thomas, Marc. SEAHORS: Spatial Exploration of ArcHaeological Objects in R Shiny. Peer Community Journal, Volume 3 (2023), article  no. e55. doi : 10.24072/pcjournal.289.

Peer reviewed and recommended by PCI : 10.24072/pci.archaeo.100320

Conflict of interest of the recommender and peer reviewers:
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article.

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