ANT200 (Oct 4).docx

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26 Apr 2012
Topic 5: Data Analysis
- Data Analysis
o “a stage in archaeological research design in which data are isolated, described, and
structured, usually via typological classification…” (Ashmore and Sharer 2009)
o Imposition of structure on data
o Examining the patterning of variables, values & classes (a lot are statistical)
- Units of archaeology
o Empirical: material evidence, attributes
o Analytical: variables and values
o Inferential: anthropological units
- Attribute
o Observable and measureable characteristic/trait of material evidence
- Scales of variables and values (increase in statistical power)
o Nominal
o Ordinal
o Interval
o Ratio
- Nominal variables
o Unordered sets of values
o Example: class list, variables = names
o E.g. variable: surface texture
Values: smooth/rough
- Ordinal variables
o Qualitatively ordered set
o E.g. variable: decorative complexity
Values: plain, simple, complex
- Interval variables
o Quantitatively ordered sets with arbitrary zero
o E.g. variable: calendar dates
Values: 0 B.C, 1 A.D
- Ratio variables
o Quantitatively zero…
o E.g. variable: length in mm
Values: 0, 1, 2, 3
o Measuring ceramic vessel
- Lithic technology
o Removing flakes from cores with hammer in controlled manner using principle of
conchoidal fracture
o Core and flake : platform angle (ratio variable)
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