Automation of Bayesian Chronology Construction Using a Graph Theoretic Approach


This is an abstract from the "Constructing Chronologies I: Stratification and Correlation" session, at the 86th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

This paper discusses developing prototype software for handling the relative and absolute dating evidence obtained during single context excavations as carried out in many European countries such as the UK. We seek to use mathematical graph theory to manage both stratigraphic and chronological information during Bayesian chronology construction. Dye and Buck have developed a graph theoretic approach to representing archaeological sequence diagrams, such as the Harris Matrix. Dye and Buck proposed that, by managing stratigraphic and chronological data using graph theory, we might semi-automate chronology construction. The primary research question addressed in this presentation is: Can we build a practical user interface for creating, managing, and archiving both stratigraphic and chronological directed graphs, such that it semi-automates the building of Bayesian chronological priors during post-excavation interpretation and research? We use case studies from various large-scale excavations to display current capabilities of the software; in particular, the various options being explored for manipulating stratigraphic data, such as adding metadata, point and click capability, and the display of multiple directed graphs. A further research goal for the project is to allow for the consideration of uncertain stratigraphic relationships during the modeling process. Progress in this area will be explored.

Cite this Record

Automation of Bayesian Chronology Construction Using a Graph Theoretic Approach. Bryony Moody, Caitlin Buck, Tom Dye, Keith May, Gianna Ayala. Presented at The 86th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. 2021 ( tDAR id: 466612)

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 32901