Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Geography and Regional Planning

First Advisor

John Benhart, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Brian Okey, PhD.

Third Advisor

Richard Hoch, PhD.


This research analyzes Late-Woodland settlements in Southwestern Pennsylvania by using geospatial techniques to analyze visibility as a determinant of settlement patterns to explain cognitive behavior concerning visibility factors within the cultural landscape. The objective of this research was first, to determine if viewsheds are useful in explaining the settlement pattern of the Late-Woodland Monongahela and second, to explore the cognitive behavior of the Late-Woodland Monongahela concerning visibility factors between settlement locations. By modeling after Jones (2006), Maples (2005) and Wheatley (1995), this research will attempt to provide an explanation for the spatial distribution of Late-Woodland Monongahela settlements and the cognitive behavior concerning visibility factors between settlements. Following studies by Maples (2005) and Wheatley (1995), I have created a visual prominence map and cumulative viewshed analysis and tested the data by using Moran‟s I statistic and generated data variable for the Kolmogorov-Smirnov Goodness-of-Fit test.