Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

http://link.springer.com/journal/10816

List of Papers (Total 43)

Urban and Transport Scaling: Northern Mesopotamia in the Late Chalcolithic and Bronze Age

Scaling methods have been applied to study modern urban areas and how they create accelerated, feedback growth in some systems while efficient use in others. For ancient cities, results have shown that cities act as social reactors that lead to positive feedback growth in socioeconomic measures. In this paper, we assess the relationship between settlement area expressed through...

Toy Story: Homophily, Transmission and the Use of Simple Simulation Models for Assessing Variability in the Archaeological Record

The interpretation of spatial and temporal patterns in the archaeological record remains a long-standing issue in the discipline. Amongst many methods and interpretations, modelling of ‘biased transmission’ has proved a successful strategy to tackle this problem. Here, we investigate a type of biased transmission, homophily, that is the tendency of individuals to associate and...

Between Monoculture and Cultural Polarization: Agent-based Models of the Interplay of Social Influence and Cultural Diversity

Social influence is one of the most important processes in human social interaction. Very often in human social interaction, influence is assimilative in that individuals become more similar to others they interact with. Nevertheless, cultural differences continue to remain in many realms of human life, for example, in the form of technological boundaries. Research on social...

Social Boundaries and Networks in the Diffusion of Innovations: a Short Introduction

This short introduction briefly recalls how sociological theories and formal methods for social networks can help to interpret diffusion processes of ancient cultural traits. It also provides a presentation of the selected papers. These papers focus not on the ways archaeological data can be represented in a relational format, but on the potential of specific sociological network...

New Insights into Use-Wear Development in Bodily Ornaments Through the Study of Ethnographic Collections

The use of microwear analysis has made substantial contributions to the study of archaeological bodily ornaments. However, limitations persist with regard to the interpretation of use and the reconstruction of systems of attachment, hampering a holistic understanding of the diversity of past bodily adornment. This is because the complexities of ornament biographies and the...

Prehistoric Coastal Mass Burials: Did Death Come in Waves?

Recent large tsunamis in the twenty-first century have provided graphic reminders of the catastrophic impacts such natural hazards can have upon coastal communities. Death tolls in the thousands give rise to the rapid adoption of coastal mass burials for the interment of the dead. While recognised as a necessary practice in the aftermath of such contemporary tragedies, the...

Knowledge Transmission Through the Lens of Lithic Production: a Case Study from the Pastoral Neolithic of Southern Kenya

This paper examines theoretical and methodological approaches to measuring and discussing skill in the archaeological record. Focusing specifically on evaluating skill in lithic production, a case study is presented which quantifies production errors in several assemblages of obsidian blades from early pastoralist sites of the Elmenteitan culture in southern Kenya (c. 3000–1400...

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Neolithic Life Reconstruction

The expansion of Neolithic stable isotope studies in France now allows distinct regional population-scale food patterns to be linked to both local environment influences and specific economic choices. Carbon and nitrogen isotope values of more than 500 humans and of animal samples also permit hypotheses on sex-biased human provenance. To advance population scale research, we here...

On Applications of Space–Time Modelling with Open-Source 14C Age Calibration

In archaeology, the meta-analysis of scientific dating information plays an ever-increasing role. A common thread among many recent studies contributing to this has been the development of bespoke software for summarizing and synthesizing data, identifying significant patterns therein. These are reviewed in this paper, which also contains open-source scripts for calibrating...

A Critical Reassessment of Cultural Taxonomies in the Central European Late Palaeolithic

In the analysis of archaeological relationships and processes, a uniform classification of the dataset is a fundamental requirement. To achieve this, a standardised taxonomic system, as well as consistent and valid criteria for the grouping of sites and assemblages, must be used. The Central European Late Palaeolithic (ca. 12,000–9700 cal BC) has a long research history and many...

A Sensory Update to the Chaîne Opératoire in Order to Study Skill: Perceptive Categories for Copper-Compositions in Archaeometallurgy

This paper introduces the methodology of perceptive categories through which an empirical analysis of skill is achievable, taking European Bronze Age metalworking as a case study. Based on scientific data provided by the material sciences, in this case compositional and metallographic analyses of Late Copper Age and Early Bronze Age axes, the thresholds to categorise and...

Home Is Where the Hearth Is: Anthracological and Microstratigraphic Analyses of Pleistocene and Holocene Combustion Features, Riwi Cave (Kimberley, Western Australia)

The manipulation of fire is a technological act. The identification of the archaeological signatures of the controlled use of fire has important implications not only for the estimations of the origins and functions of the first fireplaces but also for our understanding of prehistoric technological development and resource use. At Riwi (Kimberley region, Western Australia...

Surfaces from the Visual Past: Recovering High-Resolution Terrain Data from Historic Aerial Imagery for Multitemporal Landscape Analysis

Historic aerial images are invaluable sources of aid to archaeological research. Often collected with large-format photogrammetric quality cameras, these images are potential archives of multidimensional data that can be used to recover information about historic landscapes that have been lost to modern development. However, a lack of camera information for many historic images...

Exploring Transformations in Caribbean Indigenous Social Networks through Visibility Studies: the Case of Late Pre-Colonial Landscapes in East-Guadeloupe (French West Indies)

This paper presents a study of the visual properties of natural and Amerindian cultural landscapes in late pre-colonial East-Guadeloupe and of how these visual properties affected social interactions. Through a review of descriptive and formal visibility studies in Caribbean archaeology, it reveals that the ability of visual properties to affect past human behaviour is frequently...

Refining the Maritime Foundations of Andean Civilization: How Plant Fiber Technology Drove Social Complexity During the Preceramic Period

Moseley’s (1975) Maritime Foundations of Andean Civilization hypothesis challenges, in one of humanity’s few pristine hearths of civilization, the axiom that agriculture is necessary for the rise of complex societies. We revisit that hypothesis by setting new findings from La Yerba II (7571–6674 Cal bp) and III (6485–5893 Cal bp), Río Ica estuary, alongside the wider...

Reconstructing Archaeological Networks with Structural Holes

Model-based reconstruction is an approach to infer network structures where they cannot be observed. For archaeological networks, several models based on assumptions concerning distance among sites, site size, or costs and benefits have been proposed to infer missing ties. Since these assumptions are formulated at a dyadic level, they do not provide means to express dependencies...

Introduction to Webs of Memory, Frames of Power: Collective Remembering in the Archaeological Record

Over the past few decades, archaeologists have increasingly viewed collective memory as critical to the establishment and legitimation of power relations. For societies in the past and present, collective memory can be drawn on to clarify group identity, justify or subvert hierarchies, invent traditions, and define behaviors. The contributors to this special issue focus on the...

The Cultural Project: Formal Chronological Modelling of the Early and Middle Neolithic Sequence in Lower Alsace

Starting from questions about the nature of cultural diversity, this paper examines the pace and tempo of change and the relative importance of continuity and discontinuity. To unravel the cultural project of the past, we apply chronological modelling of radiocarbon dates within a Bayesian statistical framework, to interrogate the Neolithic cultural sequence in Lower Alsace, in...

Personal, Political, Pedagogic: Challenging the Binary Bind in Archaeological Teaching, Learning and Fieldwork

In this paper, we consider how we can undercut the various binaries of gender and sexuality in archaeological practice and particularly in our teaching. We argue that taking an assemblage theory approach enables us to look at the multiplicity of identities of those practicing archaeology as different and intersecting assemblages that bring one another into being through their...

Re-Envisioning Tarascan Temporalities and Landscapes: Historical Being, Archaeological Representation, and Futurity in Past Social Processes

We apply a phenomenological perspective on landscape and geographic information system (GIS) applications in order to theorize how human perception and agency were likely implicated in processes of the formation of the late pre-Hispanic Tarascan State of West Central Mexico. The relatedness of landscape features in space or place-based perception has been well theorized; here, we...

Quality Assurance in Archaeological Survey

To have confidence in the results of an archaeological survey, whether for heritage management or research objectives, we must have some assurance that the survey was carried out to a reasonably high standard. This paper discusses the use of Quality Assurance (QA) approaches and empirical methods for estimating surveys’ effectiveness at discovering archaeological artifacts as a...