Population density is an important variable in the development of social complexity. Estimating population densities from the archaeological record requires combining estimates of population, area, and time. Archaeological population estimates tend to be reported as a maximum population derived from the total accumulation of discrete archaeological material types, usually ceramics or radiocarbon (14C) dates. However, given the palimpsest nature of the archaeological record at recurrently occupied archaeological sites, these maximal, total estimates are, at best, a poor reflection of contemporaneous populations. I present a method for calculating average yearly population densities for occupations at a large, multicomponent site using a combination of distributional data and 60 14C dates. By employing this method at other sites in the same region, modeling intra-regional population dynamics at fine time scales will be possible.
- Bayesian modeling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)