• Oliver Nakoinz
  • Daniel Knitter
Part of the Quantitative Archaeology and Archaeological Modelling book series (QAAM)


Different types of borders and frontiers are subject to research in archaeology and geography. This chapter focuses on borders of cultural areas, which have played a major role in archaeological discussion during the last century. First, the theory of cultural borders is discussed, before the second part of this chapter is dedicated to the reconstruction of empirical boundary models. Univariate, bivariate and multivariate approaches are enlarged and their connection to the theory of cultural borders and areas is discussed. Theoretical boundary models are mostly variants of the Voronoi method, also known as Thiessen polygons. Besides the classical Voronoi technique, weighted Voronoi graphs such as X-Tent model are presented. The calculation of Voronoi graphs in non-geographical spaces is addressed to applied to economic and cultural spaces. Least cost distances and cultural distances are discussed as possibilities for spanning non-geographical spaces. Finally, topographic techniques such as watershed delineation or river-system reconstruction are mentioned.


Boundary Border Territory Cultural areas Voronoi-graph Weighted Voronoi-graph Density cluster 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliver Nakoinz
    • 1
  • Daniel Knitter
    • 2
  1. 1.University of KielKielGermany
  2. 2.Excellence Cluster TopoiFreie UniversitätBerlinGermany

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