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Model Life Tables as a Measure of Bias in the Grasshopper Pueblo Skeletal Series

  • Richard R. Paine (a1)

Abstract

In their article, Cordell et al. (1987:571) assert that the Grasshopper Pueblo skeletal series is an "obviously biased sample." This paper criticizes that position as an incorrect interpretation of the Coale and Demeny (1983) model life tables. An alternative interpretation is offered using a modeling procedure based on the Coale and Demeny regressions and pattern-fitting-by-maximum-likelihood techniques. The present author agrees with Cordell et al.'s theoretical position; uniformitarian assumptions should play an important role in archaeological interpretation, especially where the questions addressed are rooted in human biology. The analysis presented, however, indicates that they overestimate problems with the Grasshopper series, and supports the validity of studies based upon it.

Résumé

En este trabajo se critica la afirmación de Cordell et al. (1987:571) de que la serie de esqueletos provenientes de Pueblo Grasshopper constituye una muestra "obviamente sesgada." Esta afirmación se considera como una interpretatión incorrecta de los modelos de tablas de vida de Coale y Demeny (1983). Se propone una interpretatión diferente usando una simulatión basada en las regresiones de Coale y Demeny y en ajustes mediante técnicas de máxima verosimilitud. Los resultados de este análisis indican que Cordell y sus coautores sobreestiman los problemas de la serie de esqueletos de Grasshopper y apoyan la validez del estudio original.

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References

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Model Life Tables as a Measure of Bias in the Grasshopper Pueblo Skeletal Series

  • Richard R. Paine (a1)

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