Zooarchaeological Survivorship Models using Ordered Logistic Regression

Author(s): Jesse Wolfhagen

Year: 2018


Archaeologists investigate past hunting and herding strategies using models of animal survivorship derived from long bone fusion and/or mandibular tooth wear patterns. As biological and behavioral variation makes estimating precise biological ages problematic, researchers typically assign "age stages" that describe ranked age groups. Ordered logistic regression models take advantage of the information in these rankings to estimate and analyze patterns in ranked/ordered data based on other variables. This poster describes fitting ordered logistic regression models to zooarchaeological survivorship data using Bayesian inference (via Stan) to (a) estimate uncertainty in survivorship estimates due to sample size and (b) compare survivorship between different sites and sub-assemblages within sites. The model is also able to incorporate uncertain stage assignments using aoristic analysis; as most zooarchaeological assemblages contain specimens that cannot be assigned to a single "age stage". The ability to use uncertain stages allows aoristic survivorship analyses to combine patterns of long bone fusion and mandibular tooth wear data, despite their variable specificity. The models shown here can be adapted to any archaeological situation that uses ordered or ranked variables.

Cite this Record

Zooarchaeological Survivorship Models using Ordered Logistic Regression. Jesse Wolfhagen. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443663)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: 34.277; min lat: 13.069 ; max long: 61.699; max lat: 42.94 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20670