The use of a multivariate graphic display technique as an explaratory tool in the analysis of inter-assemblage lithic variability: A case study from Qafzeh Cave, Israel

Erella Hovers*, Adi Raveh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the course of the last four decades, Middle Palaeolithic inter-assemblage lithic variability has been studied by relatively standardised quantitative methods. Still, it has been difficult to present any single assemblage as a 'sum' of its lithic properties in relation to other assemblages, and to gauge the degree of similarities and dissimilarities among assemblages on this basis. This paper presents the application of a statistical procedure, which displays the distances among assemblages graphically, and allows their intuitive evaluation. The procedure is applied to a series of Mousterian lithic assemblages from the terrace of Qafzeh Cave, Israel, in an attempt to test through the lithic analysis hypotheses about diachronic changes in settlement patterns on the site. The matrices used, and the resulting display, also enable identification of those variables which most influence the emerging pattern. Therefore, the procedure can be employed as an exploratory tool in the initial stages of research, for identifying potentially fruitful directions of future analyses. We emphasise that the utility of the statistical procedure depends on the archaeological meaning of the variables selected for analysis. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1023-1038
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume27
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

Keywords

  • Graphic display
  • Inter-assemblage lithic variability
  • Mousterian
  • Qafzeh cave

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