The Spatial Analysis, Interpretation, and Exploration (SAIE) laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis is devoted to understanding human societies through time and across space. The specialists and researchers here utilize Geographic Information Systems, Remote Sensing, and a variety of related technologies to map, analyze, reconstruct, interpret, and explore how spatial and temporal aspects of human landscapes condition and affect history and society around the world.
One of the primary ways we study the formation of human landscapes through time is landscape archaeology. Members of the SAIE lab direct archaeological surveys, excavations, analysis and GIS studies in a variety of ecologies spanning from the deserts of North Africa and Central Asia to the steppes and high mountains of Inner Eurasia, tracing human societies and their geography over the past 6000 years.
Climate and ecology are key factors to the adaptive strategies, social history, and geography of world societies. In the SAIE lab we engage in various projects that seek to model and understand the relationship between human strategies, ecological change, and climate through time. Our research covers a variety of human interactions with the environment, exploring interrelationships of climate change, landcover change, and human adaptation.
GIS and Remote sensing are the primary tools we employ at the SAIE lab to study the spatial and temporal intersection of human and environmental landscapes. Most of the analytical and material aspects of our research are tied together spatially to interpret cultural geography through time. Our projects simulate and model various aspects of archaeological, climatic, ecological, and social phenomena from prehistory to the present day.