Using Event History Methods to Analyze the Diffusion of Dynastic Rituals in Classic Maya Society


This is an abstract from the "Novel Statistical Techniques in Archaeology I (QUANTARCH I)" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Diffusion of innovation describes the way novel cultural traits or information spread in a population. Understanding the specific factors that account for the spread of these innovations calls for a multivariate approach. Event history analysis provides a set of statistical methods to explain and predict the occurrence of events for the entities within a population. These methods have been successfully applied in a range of disciplines to examine the determinants of events such as migration, death, failure of components, and recently, the adoption of novelties. Multivariate event history models allow simultaneously testing the effects of various diffusion determinants, including information content (e.g. trait characteristics), entity’s attributes (e.g., prestige), and social and contextual factors (e.g., geographical proximity). These factors are interlaced, and therefore, their effects cannot be analyzed separately as done in recent archaeological studies. In this paper, we apply event history techniques to study the diffusion of dynastic rituals in Classic Maya society. We examine the role of different network configurations on the spread of rituals recorded on hieroglyphic monuments. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach by discussing its application to a wider set of cultural traits, like ancient technologies or artifact styles, when time of adoption is available.

Cite this Record

Using Event History Methods to Analyze the Diffusion of Dynastic Rituals in Classic Maya Society. Jonathan Scholnick, Viviana Amati, Jessica Munson. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451191)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23854