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Network analysis of archaeological data: a systematic approach

Östborn, Per LU and Gerding, Henrik LU (2014) In Journal of Archaeological Science 46. p.75-88
Abstract
Network theory can be employed in two ways in archaeology: it can be used to analyse archaeological data, or it can be used to model a historical process for the purpose of simulating the data. This paper focuses on the first approach. In such analyses, similar archaeological contexts are often connected to form a similarity network. Similarity is treated as a proxy for social or causal relationships. Most often, similarity is defined by the presence of the same kind of find in two contexts. However, to detect relationships effectively, we have to allow any kind of similarity relation to be a criterion for connection, in which different kinds of attributes that characterise the contexts may be mixed. We discuss how such general similarity... (More)
Network theory can be employed in two ways in archaeology: it can be used to analyse archaeological data, or it can be used to model a historical process for the purpose of simulating the data. This paper focuses on the first approach. In such analyses, similar archaeological contexts are often connected to form a similarity network. Similarity is treated as a proxy for social or causal relationships. Most often, similarity is defined by the presence of the same kind of find in two contexts. However, to detect relationships effectively, we have to allow any kind of similarity relation to be a criterion for connection, in which different kinds of attributes that characterise the contexts may be mixed. We discuss how such general similarity networks can be used to disclose relational patterns hidden in archaeological data. Statistical tests are necessary to distinguish significant patterns from random patterns. We argue that random permutation tests are well suited for this task, and we introduce appropriate tests of this kind. The methods outlined are compared to other kinds of quantitative data analysis, such as correspondence analysis. We discuss which approach is more suitable for which kind of data. The choice of approach also depends on the questions addressed to the archaeological material. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Archaeological Science
volume
46
pages
75 - 88
publisher
Academic Press
external identifiers
  • wos:000337013800008
  • scopus:84897908884
ISSN
1095-9238
DOI
10.1016/j.jas.2014.03.015
project
LATERES COCTILES : den tidiga användningen av bränt tegel i Europa
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b6ad1916-a7dc-4819-8b4e-82d6474f1e49 (old id 4392131)
date added to LUP
2014-04-15 13:23:50
date last changed
2017-11-05 03:07:21
@article{b6ad1916-a7dc-4819-8b4e-82d6474f1e49,
  abstract     = {Network theory can be employed in two ways in archaeology: it can be used to analyse archaeological data, or it can be used to model a historical process for the purpose of simulating the data. This paper focuses on the first approach. In such analyses, similar archaeological contexts are often connected to form a similarity network. Similarity is treated as a proxy for social or causal relationships. Most often, similarity is defined by the presence of the same kind of find in two contexts. However, to detect relationships effectively, we have to allow any kind of similarity relation to be a criterion for connection, in which different kinds of attributes that characterise the contexts may be mixed. We discuss how such general similarity networks can be used to disclose relational patterns hidden in archaeological data. Statistical tests are necessary to distinguish significant patterns from random patterns. We argue that random permutation tests are well suited for this task, and we introduce appropriate tests of this kind. The methods outlined are compared to other kinds of quantitative data analysis, such as correspondence analysis. We discuss which approach is more suitable for which kind of data. The choice of approach also depends on the questions addressed to the archaeological material.},
  author       = {Östborn, Per and Gerding, Henrik},
  issn         = {1095-9238},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {75--88},
  publisher    = {Academic Press},
  series       = {Journal of Archaeological Science},
  title        = {Network analysis of archaeological data: a systematic approach},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2014.03.015},
  volume       = {46},
  year         = {2014},
}