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Stylistic Variation in Evolutionary Perspective: Inferences from Decorative Diversity and Interassemblage Distance in Illinois Woodland Ceramic Assemblages

  • Fraser D. Neiman (a1)

Certain aspects of what archaeologists have traditionally called stylistic variation can be understood as the result of the introduction of selectively neutral variation into social-learning populations and the sampling error in the cultural transmission of that variation (drift). Simple mathematical models allow the deduction of expectations for the dynamics of these evolutionary mechanisms as monitored in the archaeological record through assemblage diversity and interassemblage distance. The models are applied to make inferences about the causes of change in decorative diversity and interassemblage distance for Woodland ceramics from Illinois.

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American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
  • URL: /core/journals/american-antiquity
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