1st Edition

Strategies for Quantitative Research Archaeology by Numbers

By Grant S. McCall Copyright 2018
    244 Pages
    by Routledge

    244 Pages
    by Routledge

    It is little secret that most archaeologists are uneasy with statistics. Thankfully, in the modern world, quantitative analysis has been made immensely easier by statistical software packages. Software now does virtually all our statistical calculations, removing a great burden for researchers. At the same time, since most statistical analysis now takes place through the pushing of buttons in software packages, new problems and dangers have emerged. How does one know which statistical test to use? How can one tell if certain data violate the assumptions of a particular statistical analysis?

    Rather than focusing on the mathematics of calculation, this concise handbook selects appropriate forms of analysis and explains the assumptions that underlie them. It deals with fundamental issues, such as what kinds of data are common in the field of archaeology and what are the goals of various forms of analysis.

    This accessible textbook lends a refreshing playfulness to an often-humorless subject and will be enjoyed by students and professionals alike.

    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    List of Boxes

    List of Formula


    Chapter 1: Introduction: How Does Quantitative Analysis Fit Into Archaeological Research?

    Chapter 2: Basics: Knowing Your Data

    Chapter 3: Preparing Your Data: Aggregation, Standardization, and Transformation

    Chapter 4: Numerical and Graphical Approaches to Summarizing Your Data

    Chapter 5: Basic Approaches for Statistical Hypothesis Testing Using Univariate Data

    Chapter 6: Bivariate Analysis: Linear Regression and Correlation

    Chapter 7: Multivariate Techniques for Data Reduction and Pattern Recognition

    Chapter 8: Multivariate Approaches to Statistical Hypothesis Testing

    Chapter 9: Clustering and Discrimination: Grouping Data According to Similarity

    Chapter 10: Conclusion: Numerical Facts in the World of Archaeological Ambiguity


    Grant S. McCall is the Executive Director of the Center for Human-Environmental Research and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Tulane University. He is also the author of Before Modern Humans: New Perspectives on the African Stone Age and (with Karl Widerquist) Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy.