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Methodological Issues in the Study of Assemblage Diversity

  • M. J. Baxter (a1)

Abstract

Three approaches that have been used to investigate assemblage diversity in the archaeological literature-two established and one new-are studied, with a particular emphasis on assemblage richness. It is argued that the established regression and simulation approaches, as often used, are only strictly valid if they assume what they are supposed to test-namely that assemblages are sampled from populations with the same richness or structure. Rarefaction methodology provides an alternative to the simulation approach and suggests that even if the latter is used, sampling without rather than with replacement is preferable. Some potential limitations of a recently proposed approach using jackknife methods are noted, and it is suggested that bootstrapping may be a more natural resampling method to use.

Résumé

El objetivo de este artículo es el estudio de tres métodos que han sido utilizados en la literatura arqueológica para investigar la diversidad del conjunto con especial atención a su riqueza. Se discute que los métodos de regresión y simulatión, ya bien establecidos, son sólo estrictamente válidos si asumen que el muestreo se realiza sobre poblaciones con la misma riqueza o estructura. El método de rarefaction, más novedoso que los anteriores, proporciona una alternativa al de simulación y sugiere que, incluso si este último es utilizado, un muestreo sin substitutión es preferible a un muestreo con substitutión. Algunas de las limitaciones del método de jackknife, propuesto recientemente, son puestas de manifiesto, y se sugiere que el bootstrapping puede ser un mejor metodo.

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References

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Methodological Issues in the Study of Assemblage Diversity

  • M. J. Baxter (a1)

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