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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)
Abstract

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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R. L.Bettinger 1991 Hunter Gatherers : Archaeological and Evolutionary Theory. Plenum Press, New York.

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W.Wimsatt 1980 Reductionist Research Strategies and Their Biases in the Units of Selection Controversy. In Scientific Discovery : Case Studies, edited by T.Nickles , pp. 213259. D. Reidel, Dordrecht.

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