Defining and Measuring Diversity in Archaeology

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 84th Annual Meeting, Albuquerque, NM (2019)

This collection contains the abstracts of the papers presented in the session entitled "Defining and Measuring Diversity in Archaeology," at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The year 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the landmark volume "Quantifying Diversity in Archaeology" (Leonard and Jones 1989, Cambridge University Press). Over the past 30 years, in part due to Leonard and Jones' (1989) book, as well as increased collaboration with ecologists and statisticians, archaeologists' understanding and application of concepts of diversity in material culture, genetics, human behavior, and other arenas of investigation has expanded immensely. In this symposium, researchers representing a wide array of time periods, geographic locations, and artifact types provide methodological and theoretical case studies of measuring diversity, and what the understanding of diversity means for archaeologists' interpretations of human technology, behavior, and evolution.

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  • Documents (12)

Documents
  • Challenges and Prospects of Richness and Diversity Measures in Paleoethnobotany (2019)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Alan Farahani. Reuven Sinensky.

    This is an abstract from the "Defining and Measuring Diversity in Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. The measurement of the richness and diversity of archaeological plant remains recovered from sites is an essential, if not always explicitly recognized, aspect of paleoethnobotanical practice and interpretation. The range of different recovered plant taxa can be indicative of routes of taphonomic entry, diet breadth, local responses to...

  • Coverage-Based Rarefaction in Zooarchaeology: Potential and Pitfalls (2019)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Tyler Faith. Andrew Du.

    This is an abstract from the "Defining and Measuring Diversity in Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Zooarchaeologists routinely measure the taxonomic richness of faunal assemblages in order to explore questions related to human subsistence behavior or paleoenvironmental change. A common solution to the well-known sampling issues that attend such analysis is rarefaction, whereby sample size is standardized by rarefying larger assemblages...

  • Diversity and Lithic Microwear: Quantification, Classification, and Standardization (2019)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only W. James Stemp. Danielle A. Macdonald.

    This is an abstract from the "Defining and Measuring Diversity in Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Over the past decade, lithic microwear analysis has witnessed a shift in how data is collected, moving away from optical microscopy towards a more quantifiable practice. The adoption of surface metrology microscopes, including confocal and focus variation, allows for the measurement of surface roughness or texture, thus distinguishing...

  • Diversity in Hunter-Gatherer Architecture (2019)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Brian Andrews. Danielle Macdonald. Brooke Morgan.

    This is an abstract from the "Defining and Measuring Diversity in Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Diversity in the architecture of sedentary and complex societies is well-studied, but an emphasis on the role of mobility in hunter-gatherer adaptation has resulted in a lack of discussion of the built environment among these communities. Here we take a temporally broad and cross-cultural approach to document variability in...

  • The Diversity of Old Copper Culture Projectile Points (2019)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Richard Meindl. Michelle Bebber.

    This is an abstract from the "Defining and Measuring Diversity in Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. The Old Copper Culture (OCC) (4000-1000 B.C.) of the Lake Superior Region of North America features a wide variety of utilitarian tools manufactured from native copper. Here, we assess the technological diversity of copper projectile points found in the region spanning Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota U.S.A., as well as artifacts found...

  • Introduction to Session with a Discussion of Measuring Stone Tool Diversity (2019)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Briggs Buchanan. Metin Eren.

    This is an abstract from the "Defining and Measuring Diversity in Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. It has been thirty years since the publication of Quantifying Diversity in Archaeology and this edited volume has proven to be an important benchmark in archaeological diversity studies. We review the impact this volume has had on quantitative archaeological research across a number of subfields. We then provide three examples of our work...

  • Managing the Effects of Climate Change and Foraging Risk through Dietary Portfolio Diversity, an Example from 13,000 years of Human-Environment Interactions on the Great Plains of North America (2019)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Erik Otarola-Castillo. Melissa Torquato. Angel Nihells. John Rapes. Matthew Hill.

    This is an abstract from the "Defining and Measuring Diversity in Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Food security and risk management are prominent contemporary global challenges, with ~795 million people undernourished worldwide. Climate change is projected to affect the availability, accessibility and stability of food sources, further exacerbating global malnutrition, but this is not a novel human challenge. Food security risk...

  • Solutions to Drift on Small and Isolated Populations (2019)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Carl Lipo. Mark Madsen. Robert Dinapoli. Terry Hunt.

    This is an abstract from the "Defining and Measuring Diversity in Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Due to the effects of drift on small and isolated populations, island environments pose particular evolutionary challenges in the retention of richness and diversity of cultural information. Such variation, however, can have significant fitness consequences particularly when environmental conditions change in an unpredictable fashion:...

  • Spatial and Temporal Diversity in Stable Isotope Studies of Archaeological Material (2019)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Suzanne Pilaar Birch.

    This is an abstract from the "Defining and Measuring Diversity in Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. While identifying and defining diversity in material culture studies, bioarchaeological assemblages, and site distribution has long been de rigeur, the advent and development of stable isotope analysis in archaeology since the publication of Leonard & Jones' seminal 1989 volume provides yet another layer of complexity in archaeological...

  • A Systematic Approach to Quantifying Diversity in the Morphology and Spatial Distribution of Eastern Paleoindian Projectile Points (2019)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Matthew Boulanger. Ryan Breslawski. Ian Jorgeson.

    This is an abstract from the "Defining and Measuring Diversity in Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. For nearly 100 years, archaeologists have commented on the perceived morphological diversity in projectile points dating to the Paleoindian period in eastern North America, though the significance of this diversity and what explains it remain underexplored topics. Hesitancy to address these broader questions is, we argue, attributable to...

  • Thinking about Spatial Scale and Diversity in Archaeology (2019)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Steven Kuhn.

    This is an abstract from the "Defining and Measuring Diversity in Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Diversity is fundamentally a scalar phenomenon. Archaeologists have been very attentive to the relationship between sample size and various diversity measures. They have not paid as much attention to the spatial scale of diversity. Ecologists frequently consider diversity at three spatial scales. Alpha diversity refers to richness within...

  • Unbinding Diversity Measures in Archaeology using GIS (2019)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Marieka Brouwer Burg. Meghan Howey.

    This is an abstract from the "Defining and Measuring Diversity in Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Several papers in "Quantifying Diversity in Archaeology" identified space as a critical factor in structuring diversity and called for whole landscape, regional-scale analyses to improve archaeological approaches to diversity. The capabilities of today’s geospatial technologies were unimaginable at the time but now, the desire to analyze...