A Bayesian Framework for Combining Architectural Constraints and Artifact Assemblages in Domestic Spaces

Author(s): Andrew Cabaniss; Kristen Mann

Year: 2016


Twentieth century excavations contributed greatly to our knowledge of domestic contexts throughout the Aegean. These excavations occupy a broad spectrum in terms of sampling strategy, data collection quality and publication extent. Architectural studies of household behavior have received particular attention, and explorations of settlement social organization through household archaeology are ongoing. Yet few methodologies explicitly address this issue of diverse publication levels and variation in data quality or excavation methodology.

To address this gap, we construct a Bayesian framework for systematically integrating artifact data with constraints that the built environment can impose on household activities. By unifying possibilistic constraints with the creation of probability distributions, we can assess the deviation of the artifact distribution from possible use contexts so as to estimate a minimum bound on the effect of depositional and taphonomic processes in creating the observed material record. The resulting probability distributions of activities in space can be compared across houses using non-parametric measures to investigate spatial specialization and organizational variation between houses.

We use this technique to compare houses between three sites in the Aegean at different stages of urbanization in order to elucidate changes between the domestic and civic spheres during the Archaic period (800-500 BCE).

Cite this Record

A Bayesian Framework for Combining Architectural Constraints and Artifact Assemblages in Domestic Spaces. Andrew Cabaniss, Kristen Mann. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404603)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;