The Challenges and Prospects of Developing Radiocarbon "Big Data" for the Study of Prehistoric Demography
The use of large radiocarbon datasets has the potential to transform archaeology and its place in the social and natural sciences in the coming decades. Radiocarbon ‘big data’ enhances the unique contribution of archaeology to reconstruct human demography over vast spans of time. This move towards big data is confronted by some central challenges in archaeological method and theory, such as the use of legacy data of disparate quality and working over broad spatial and temporal scales. For some, these challenges pose insurmountable barriers to the use of radiocarbon big data. We disagree: radiocarbon big data can be used with appropriate kinds of questions, ones that concern processes working at broad temporal and spatial scales. This presentation discusses our ongoing work to develop a radiocarbon database for the US, focusing on the problems of data collection and potential for using these data to ask questions regarding long-term human demographic change, human-environment interactions, and cultural dynamics.
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The Challenges and Prospects of Developing Radiocarbon "Big Data" for the Study of Prehistoric Demography. Robert L. Kelly, Erick Robinson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429442)
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Abstract Id(s): 14629