Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Rodgers, John C., III

Committee Member

Galaty, Michael L.

Committee Member

Ambinakudige, Shrinidhi S.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Geospatial Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


The objective of this research was to determine the environmental and social factors that led to the shift of settlement patterning from agro-pastoral in the late Neolithic to hillort sites at the turn of the Early Bronze Age and why burial mounds (tumuli) were erected further than anticipated from corresponding hillort sites in the Shkodra Plain region in Northern Albania. Geospatial techniques were used to examine 168 tumuli and seven hillort sites. These were mapped to examine visibility, viewshed, slope, and potential prehistoric networks. Based on the landscape visibility GIS results, it was found that hillort sites and tumuli were part of an social landscape that thrived on trade. It was determinable that the shift of the social landscape was related to Northern trade routes and probable changes in paleo-lake levels. This new evidence provides insight to Albanian prehistoric culture and has implications to related studies in the Balkans.