Mapping Paleo-Coastlines and Cultural Resources in Boston Harbor, MA


In 2001, the Institute of Maritime History in conjunction with the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, through a combination of low-altitude aerial photography and high-resolution multibeam sonar, mapped the topography of Rainsford Island, one of 34 islands located in Boston Harbor, Massachusetts. This paper presents the array of archaeological, remote sensing, and Geographic Information System techniques that were used to 1) map Rainsford Island, 2) identify and assess its cultural resources, 3) build sensitivity models to examine the potential for submerged prehistoric sites, and 4) determine the impact of human and natural factors on the island‘s archaeological resources.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal Title

Society for American Archeology (SAA)

Conference Date

Mar 31 - Apr 4, 2004

Publisher Place

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Document Type

Conference Proceeding