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Published February 24, 2023 | Version v1
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SEAHORS: Spatial Exploration of ArcHaeological Objects in R Shiny

  • 1. UMR 6282 CNRS, Université de Bourgogne
  • 2. UMR 5608 TRACES, CNRS & Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès
  • 3. CNRS/Université de Tours, UMR 7324 CITERES, Laboratoire Archéologie et Territoires


This paper presents SEAHORS, a R shiny application 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, however they most require specific skills and training to be used and are rarely designed for specific archaeological applications. The goal of SEAHORS is to make the two and three-dimensional spatial exploration of archaeological data as user-friendly as possible, in order to give opportunities to researchers not familiar with GIS and R softwares to undertake 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 plot by slices (i.e. subdivisions according to a third dimension) and 2D plot allowing to modify the angle of projection (i.e. to explore spatial organization free from the constraints of the field grid orientation). SEAHORS has visualization tools with several sorting and formatting options (colors) 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 function by using the case of the Cassenade Palaeolithic site (France).


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DeerPal – Humans and deer during the Palaeolithic: integrating the variability of prey ecology and ethology in the investigation of past human – environment interactions ANR-18-CE03-0007
Agence Nationale de la Recherche