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Wednesday, March 28 • 2:00pm - 6:15pm
8 - Diffusion of Raw Materials and Manufactured Objects. A challenge for spatial analysis?

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As part of the ArchaeDyn II international programme, the research carried out by Workshop 3 focuses on the study of spatial dynamics associated with diffusion, consumption and transfer of raw materials and/or manufactured products, essentially from the Neolithic to the Iron Age, on various spatial scales (from a given river valley to the whole of Europe). Workshop 3 handles 13 quite different pre-existing databases.

If we intend to treat whole our data in trying to find common approaches, we would be confronted to the biases of our documentation due to the data heterogeneity (spatial disparity of discoveries) and to a high variability of data collection (the databases were made for different objectives, according to different recording methods, to study at specific scales, products, of which contexts of diffusion and consumption are different). In the same manner if we intend to analyze particular case studies so as to bring answers to specific questions related to some particular databases, we would certainly develop totally disconnected methods and produce not comparable results. In order to structurize the data in an appropriate way to integrate them into a common protocol, it is essential to conduct, first of all, a phase of reflection on the nature of the phenomena and on their integration into the space. Indeed, in analysing the spatial configurations linked to products diffusion in space, it was important to discern the types of places (loci) implied and to understand their nature and their role in the process implemented. So we proposed a general space-time model to identify the components of the systems of diffusion, their interactions and the factors affecting the location of products and their transfers. This model intends to be general taking into account as well the different possible configurations, so as to be able to adapt it, in the next step, into specific diffusion models. Another objective is to detail and define concepts and vocabulary linked to the problematic of our researches. The nature of the loci through which the diffusion of the objects analysed flow through during their life-cycle will be taken into evidence by distinguishing two ways to comprehend the loci by functional entities and spatial features.

The integration of the data into a GIS and their spatial treatment require a protocol of understanding the spatial dynamics of diffusion, defining systematically the 'historical objects', their chronology and their location (through a study of the function of the site and its spatial resolution). A characterization of spatial dispersion in point distributions is to reveal the spatial phenomena linked to data patterns. Via a comparison with theoretical models from geography, mathematics or epidemiology, we attempt to propose diffusion models specific to our data.

Estelle Gauthier’, Olivier Weller’’, Jessica Giraud’’, Robin Brigand’

in coll. with Maréva Gabillot’’’ and Pierre Pétrequin’


Estelle Gauthier

University of Franche-Comté, MSHE C.-N. Ledoux, Besançon, France

Wednesday March 28, 2012 2:00pm - 6:15pm BST
Building 65, Lecture Theatre C

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