Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 95–126 | Cite as

Uniform Probability Density Analysis and Population History in the Northern Rio Grande

Article

Abstract

One of the basic challenges facing archaeology is translating surface evidence into population estimates with sufficient chronological resolution for demographic analysis. The problem is especially acute when one is working with sites inhabited across multiple chronological periods and the production curves for pottery types are unknown. In this paper, I present a Bayesian statistical method which I call uniform probability density analysis that is tailored to this situation. This method combines uniform distributions derived from the local pottery chronology with pottery assemblage data to reconstruct the population history of individual settlements. I also illustrate applications of this method at the site and regional level using data from Cuyamungue and the surrounding Tewa Basin/VEP II New Mexico project area. The results allow one to identify a period of significant population movement corresponding to the period of Tewa ethnogenesis in the thirteenth century CE.

Keywords

Population Demography Quantitative methods Settlement patterns US Southwest 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This paper is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under DEB-0816400, the Santa Fe Institute Omidyar Fellows program, the Pueblo of Pojoaque, and the University of Colorado Boulder. I thank many people for their help in compiling the VEP II New Mexico site database utilized in this paper. Sam Duwe compiled pottery tallies from the Tewa Basin archaeological literature and shared his dissertation data. Reilly Murphy and Tiffany Clark collected new pottery data from Pajarito Archaeological Research Project collections curated at the University of California, Los Angeles. Rory Gauthier provided recent survey data from Bandelier National Monument and Jesse Clark and Carly Fitzpatrick entered this information in the database. Bruce Bernstein of the Pueblo of Pojoaque initiated the collaboration with CU Boulder at Cuyamungue, and the Cuyamungue Institute gave us permission to conduct field work on their property. Sara Cullen, Kaitlyn Davis, Rachel Egan, Lindsay Johanssen, Adam Duran Jr., Christopher Fierro, and Kyle Walkley assisted with the field work. Tim Kohler, two anonymous reviewers and the journal editors provided many helpful comments on earlier drafts.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Crow Canyon Archaeological CenterCortezUSA

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