Bayesian statistics archaeological dating

24-Jun-2016 15:51 by 5 Comments

Bayesian statistics archaeological dating - Lina and mark cam live

Past work has examined age of weaning using nitrogen isotope ratios, developing a mathematical model and examining its application to a 19th century population from London.A major project examined migration into and around Britain using strontium and oxygen isotope ratios measured in Anglo-Saxon and Viking remains.

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Models can be developed including data from any dating methods (14C, TL/OSL, AM, typo-chronology, …) and from archaeological and environmental contexts (stratigraphy, ordering between phases, duration or hiatus constraints).It is increasingly common, however, for archaeologists and their co-workers (such as physicists, chemists, geologists and environmental scientists) to adopt model-based statistical tools.Such tools use mathematical representations of the processes which gave rise to the data we observe today and help us to begin to understand them.More recent projects have examined migration of Crusaders and their horses, and diet and migration in the Dutch middle Neolithic.Ph D topics in this area that I have supervised include the application of isotope techniques to investigate the diet and migration of 18th-19th century populations, the link between diet and DISH (a disease of the skeleton), comparing the diets of Christians and Muslims in medieval Spain, and the migration of the animals hunted by Upper Palaeolithic humans.This method has proved particularly effective for the analysis of the complex probability distributions of calibrated radiocarbon dates.

When we calibrate a radiocarbon measurement, we assume that the calendar date of the sample is equally likely to fall at any point on the calibration curve.This has been applied to a major re-evaluation of the dating evidence for hominid fossils in the timeframe 500,000 to 50,000 years ago.I have also worked on the development of novel methods to interpolate the age of events identified in palaeoenvironmental sequences from sediment cores.Statistical methods now form an important part of the interpretative tool kit of archaeologists.Of these the most common are descriptive statistical methods such as: means and standard deviations, medians and modes, histograms, pie charts, line graphs, etc.A user-friendly interface is proposed for entering the data, MCMC calculations can be inspected in details, models and results are presented using the Bayesian statistical framework.

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