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A probabilistic framework for assessing spatio-temporal point patterns in the archaeological record

Crema, ER; Bevan, A; Lake, MW; (2010) A probabilistic framework for assessing spatio-temporal point patterns in the archaeological record. Journal of Archaeological Science , 37 (5) 1118 - 1130. 10.1016/j.jas.2009.12.012. Green open access

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Abstract

The assessment of spatial patterns in archaeology is hampered by a number of constraints, one of the most serious of which is the intrinsic temporal uncertainty associated with most of the archaeological record. Different types of chronological definition or different degrees of temporal knowledge will suggest different kinds of spatial pattern, ultimately obscuring and restricting our interpretation of the background process, especially in cases where we are seeking a diachronic perspective. This paper addresses these problems by adopting both a probabilistic approach and a more standardised framework for diachronic analysis. First, we define the notion of temporal uncertainty and explore its analytical consequences. Second, we consider two methods by which it might be formally quantified, emphasising (a) the advantages of probability-weighted spatial analysis and (b) the comparison of alternative spatio-temporal patterns via Monte-Carlo simulation. Finally, we apply these methods to a case study that considers the distribution of Middle to Late Jomon (ca.5000-3000 BP) pithouses recorded in the Chiba New Town area of Japan (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved

Type:Article
Title:A probabilistic framework for assessing spatio-temporal point patterns in the archaeological record
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI:10.1016/j.jas.2009.12.012
Publisher version:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2009.12.012
Language:English
Keywords:Temporal uncertainty, Spatial analysis, Aoristic analysis, Monte-Carlo method, Settlement pattern, Jomon
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Institute of Archaeology

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