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7x105 Dimensions of Pottery: Multivariate Analyses of Pottery Assemblages from the Lower Town Site of Mycenae, Greece

Author(s): Anna Tremblay ; Daniel E. Ehrlich

Year: 2017

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During excavation, it is often safer to record areas separately and later identify associations between strata across a site. Such practice waits until detailed analyses can be conducted and avoids erroneously comparing material from separate depositions. However, the process can lead to more identified strata than are truly present. This project considered relative frequencies of pottery fabrics as a multivariate dataset to characterize and analyze site formation at the Lower Town site of Mycenae, Greece.

Mahalabanobis distance (D2), hierarchical clustering, and principle components analysis were used in order to quantitatively assess 841 pottery units. These units, on average containing 215 sherds, represent 41.7% of all pottery recovered during the multi-year excavation. Dendrograms and Multidimensional Scaling were used to visualize distances and clusters in order to characterize relationships between the 416 individually named strata on site. Data showed high degree of patterning and formed between 7 and 54 groups. This method proved highly effective in identifying putative associations across a large site. Importantly, this method does not require whole or decorated ceramic material, can be calculated relatively quickly, and is sensitive to detecting relatively small differences in assemblages.

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7x105 Dimensions of Pottery: Multivariate Analyses of Pottery Assemblages from the Lower Town Site of Mycenae, Greece. Anna Tremblay, Daniel E. Ehrlich. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428983)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17233

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America