Practical Approaches to Identifying Evolutionary Processes in the Archaeological Record

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 "Practical Approaches to Identifying Evolutionary Processes in the Archaeological Record," at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The goal of this session to discuss the practical application of computational methods for identifying drift, selection, innovation, transmission bias, extinction, and many other evolutionary processes in the archaeological record. In recent years there have been many exciting methodological advances in applying Darwinian evolutionary concepts to answer fundamental questions about human behaviour, demography, and material culture. These innovations are applicable to a wide variety of artefact types, such as ceramics, lithics, and others. However, much of this cutting-edge work remains esoteric because of the technical complexity of extending these new approaches beyond their initial publication. This has limited the scope of potential reuse of these methods, and their potential (and limitations) has yet to be fully explored. The priority for this session is to show how these methods are broadly accessible to any archaeologist who is curious about evolutionary methods in archaeology. Papers in this session will go ‘behind the scenes’ of these analyses to show the practical details of how the analyses are done, and how the results can be interpreted. Papers will be accompanied by online compendia provided as a resource for further ‘hands-on’ study after the session.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-7 of 7)

  • Documents (7)

Documents
  • Evolution for the People: Big Data, Big Software, and How Compliance Archaeology is the Missing Link of Compliance Archaeology (2019)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Adam Rorabaugh.

    This is an abstract from the "Practical Approaches to Identifying Evolutionary Processes in the Archaeological Record" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. A growing concern in archaeology is the potential inaccessibility of various methodological and theoretical approaches in non-academic contexts. Open access and open source software (R, Quantum GIS, ImageJ) provide means for applying complex analyses within a budget, but due to cybersecurity concerns...

  • How Can Behavioral Ecology and the Analysis of Archaeological Spatial Structure Help Identify Inequality among Enslaved Households at Monticello? (2019)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Fraser Neiman.

    This is an abstract from the "Practical Approaches to Identifying Evolutionary Processes in the Archaeological Record" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. For decades archaeologists have used optimization models to puzzle out how artifacts served the fitness interests of their makers and users. This paper offers a simple optimization model to clarify how selective pressures (e.g. household size and occupation span) shape the maintenance of space on...

  • Identifying Signatures of Selection in Archaeological Sequences (2019)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ben Marwick. Liying Wang.

    This is an abstract from the "Practical Approaches to Identifying Evolutionary Processes in the Archaeological Record" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Both neutral drift and selection cause the frequencies of artefact types in a archaeological sequences to vary over time. Discriminating between these two processes, based on a time series of artefacts from a site or region, if often important for answering archaeological questions. However,...

  • Modeling the Dynamics of Diversification (2019)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Erik Gjesfjeld. R. J. Sinensky.

    This is an abstract from the "Practical Approaches to Identifying Evolutionary Processes in the Archaeological Record" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Quantifying diversity is one of the most fundamental components of both a scientific and evolutionary approach to archaeology. While archaeologists have spent decades painstakingly describing diversity, we continue to lack a comprehensive understanding on broader evolutionary patterns of...

  • One Thing Leads to Another: Causal Triggering among Archaeological Events (2019)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only P. Jeffrey Brantingham. Randy Haas. Todd A. Surovell.

    This is an abstract from the "Practical Approaches to Identifying Evolutionary Processes in the Archaeological Record" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. A causal connection between archaeological events is frequently little more than a convenient assumption. The repeated occupation of a site, the occurrence in time and space of a ceramic ware, or the phases of settlement construction are all assumed to reflect some causal sequence, but it is far from...

  • A Population Graph Based Style Transmission Model (2019)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Clemens Schmid. Ben Marwick.

    This is an abstract from the "Practical Approaches to Identifying Evolutionary Processes in the Archaeological Record" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. The now classic Neiman (1995) is a baseline for many influential applications of Cultural Transmission to explore Stylistic Variability in archaeology. It and many of its successors represent social interaction and generational development in a deliberately simplified way to facilitate the...

  • An R Package for a Generative-Inference Based Cultural Evolutionary Analysis (2019)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Enrico Crema. Anne Kandler. Clémentine Straub.

    This is an abstract from the "Practical Approaches to Identifying Evolutionary Processes in the Archaeological Record" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Since the seminal works by Neiman (1995) and Shennan & Wilkinson (2001), evolutionary archaeologists and anthropologists have been trying to infer social learning strategies by analysing the temporal frequency of different cultural variants in a population. These early applications directly employed...