CAA Conference has ended
Thursday, March 29 • 11:15am - 6:15pm
17 - Exploring Archaeological Methods: Using Quantitative and Qualitative Techniques to Examine the Distribution of Amateur Collected Finds

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With nearly 750,000 amateur-collected objects recorded onto an online database, the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) has created a unique dataset that has the potential to revolutionise the way in which we research our past. However, whilst the biases inherent in archaeological data have been explored in the context of professional collection, there has been little work on understanding the factors that control the distribution of objects recovered by amateur collectors. In this paper, I argue that the biases behind the distribution of the amateur collected finds recorded by the PAS need to be understood before these objects can be fully incorporated into our interpretations of the past. Despite the numbers of academics now using the PAS data, there are no established methodologies for exploring the factors controlling the distribution of finds. This paper introduces a number of quantitative and qualitative techniques that have been used to explore bias in the past, including comparative analyses with other archaeological datasets, the identification of internal variation, and statistical analyses of the distributions of landscape features. The paper concludes with an analysis of the effectiveness of these methods.

avatar for Graeme  Earl

Graeme Earl

Really excited about CAA2012, and really grateful to the fantastic people who have worked themselves into the ground to make it happen. I hope the conference is cool and that people get a sense of what the Archaeological Computing Research Group and sotonDH are about.

Katie Robbins

University of Southampton Portable Antiquities Scheme, the British Museum PhD funded by an AHRC CDA studentship Postdoc funded by the Leverhulme trust

Thursday March 29, 2012 11:15am - 6:15pm BST
Building 65, 1173 Streamed into room 1093

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