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Alternative Procedures for Assessing Standardization in Ceramic Assemblages

  • Kenneth L. Kvamme (a1), Miriam T. Stark (a2) and William A. Longacre (a3)

Interest in the material correlates of economic specialization has led to numerous quantitative studies of standardization (or the lack of it) in craft production, particularly of ceramics. Most of this research has focused on measures of variation and conventional statistical procedures in the treatment of the empirical data, many of which are dependent on unrealistic assumptions (such as normal populations), yielding results that can be questioned. To resolve this crisis more robust statistical methods are investigated including the “jackknife” method (for confidence interval construction) and a multigroup test for homogeneity of variance known as the Brown-Forsythe Test. Computer simulations show that the latter is robust under a variety of distributional forms. These new methods are used to reanalyze ethnoarchaeological ceramic data from the Philippines; it is shown that markedly different conclusions can be reached when compared with the results of more conventional procedures.


Interés en las correlaciones de especialización economica ha conducido a numerosos estudios cuantitativos de la estandardización (o la falta de) en la producción de aresanía, particularmente de cerámica. La mayor parte de esta investigacion se ha enfocado en las medidas de variación y procedimientos estadisticos convencionales usados en el análisis de datos empíricos, muchos de los cuales dependen de suposiciones irreales (tal como poblaciones normales), produciendo resultados que pueden ser dudosos. Para resolver esta crisis, métodos estadisticos alternativos y más robustos son investigados, incluyendo el “jackknife” (para construcciones de intérvalos de confianza) y una prueba multi-grupo para la homogeneidad de varianza conocida como la prueba Brown-Forsythe. Simulaciones computarizadas demuestran que la segunda prueba es robusta en una variedad deformas distribucionales. Estos nuevos métodos son usados para re-analizar datos etno-arqueológicos de cerámica proveniente de las Filipinos y se demuestra que las conclusiones son marcadamente diferentes en comparación con los resultados obtenidos con procedimientos más convencionales.

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American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
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