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Inferential mistakes in population proxies: A response to Torfing's "Neolithic population and summed probability distribution of 14Cdates"

Timpson, A; Manning, K; Shennan, S; (2015) Inferential mistakes in population proxies: A response to Torfing's "Neolithic population and summed probability distribution of 14Cdates". Journal of Archaeological Science , 63 pp. 199-203. 10.1016/j.jas.2015.08.018. Green open access

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Abstract

In his paper "Neolithic population and summed probability distribution of <sup>14</sup>C-dates" Torfing opposes the widely held principle originally proposed by Rick (1987) that variation through time in the amount of archaeological material discovered in a region will reflect variation in the size of that local human population. His argument illustrates a persistent divide in archaeology between analytical and descriptive approaches when using proxies for past population size. We critically evaluate the numerous inferential mistakes he makes, showing that his conclusion is unjustified.

Type: Article
Title: Inferential mistakes in population proxies: A response to Torfing's "Neolithic population and summed probability distribution of 14Cdates"
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2015.08.018
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.08.018
Language: English
Additional information: This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This license allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licenses are available at http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0
Keywords: C14, Neolithic, Population, Proxy, Radiocarbon, SPD, Torfing
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1470834
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