Nav: Home

Statistical method recreates the history of a long-abandoned village

October 09, 2018

Archaeologists now have new tools for studying the development of medieval villages and the transformation of the historical landscapes surrounding them. In a study recently published in EPJ Plus, scientists have attempted to reconstruct the history of Zornoztegi, an abandoned medieval village located in the Basque Country, Spain. To do so they rely on the various analysis methods available to archaeologists, including radiocarbon dating, archaeological and historical records, archaeobotanical and optical microscope analyses of samples found on the site, together with a statistical analysis model. Paola Ricci from the University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli" in Italy and colleagues used this approach to establish the history of the village in the time leading up to the Middle Ages.

Archaeological evidence showed that the first occupation of the site dated back to the Chalcolithic period. After a long hiatus, it was again occupied in the Late Roman period until the Late Middle Ages. Unfortunately, most of the superficial archaeological clues were lost over time, and with them the ability to establish connections between various remnant structures from the village. In response, the team used a statistical method to integrate information from radiocarbon dating, including the spatial distribution of the structures and individual items found on site.

The authors found that the application of the statistical method (referred to as Bayesian statistics) in the context of radiocarbon dating makes it possible to better define the intervals of dating, thanks to models that blend the information gleaned from historical, stratigraphic or typological investigations with those derived from radiocarbon dating. Their conclusion: thanks to this method, archaeologists no longer have to delegate the deciphering of archaeological mysteries to the laboratory, but can instead employ an integrated approach that combines archaeological data and surveys of local remains.
-end-
References:

P. Ricci, M. Iris García-Collado2, J. Narbarte Hernández2, I. Grau Sologestoa, J. A. Quirós Castillo, and C. Lubritto (2018), Chronological characterization of Medieval Villages in Northern Iberia: A multi-integrated approach, Eur. Phys. Jour. Plus 133:375, DOI 10.1140/epjp/i2018-12233-5

Springer

Related Archaeologists Articles:

Archaeologists uncover new clues to Maya collapse
Using the largest set of radiocarbon dates ever obtained from a single Maya site, a team of archaeologists, led by the University of Arizona, developed a high-precision chronology that sheds new light on patterns leading up to the two major collapses of the Maya civilization.
Swedish and Greek archaeologists discover unknown city in Greece
An international research team at the Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg, is exploring the remains of an ancient city in central Greece.
Mummified remains identified as Egyptian Queen Nefertari
A team of international archaeologists believe a pair of mummified legs on display in an Italian museum may belong to Egyptian Queen Nefertari -- the favorite wife of the pharaoh Ramses II.
UF archaeologist uses 'dinosaur crater' rocks, prehistoric teeth to track ancient humans
Where's the best place to start when retracing the life of a person who lived 4,000 years ago?
Archaeologists use drones to trial virtual reality
Archaeologists at The Australian National University and Monash University are conducting a trial of new technology to build a 3-D virtual-reality map of one of Asia's most mysterious sites -- the Plain of Jars in Laos.
Lord of the Rings: UC archaeologists unveil new findings from Greek warrior's tomb
A University of Cincinnati team's rare discovery of four gold rings in the tomb of a wealthy Bronze Age warrior undisturbed for 3,500 years prompts a new consideration of Greek history.
Archaeologists uncover 13,000-year-old bones of ancient, extinct species of bison
In what is considered one of the oldest and most important archaeological digs in North America, scientists have uncovered what they believe are the bones of a 13,000- to 14,000-year-old ancient, extinct species of bison.
Archaeologists find world's oldest axe in Australia
Archaeologists from the Australian National University have unearthed fragments from the edge of the world's oldest-known axe, found in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Archaeologists create 3-D interactive digital reconstruction of King Richard III
On first year anniversary of the week in which King Richard III was reinterred, Leicester archaeologists use sophisticated photogrammetry software to create fully rotatable computer model which shows the king's remains in-situ.
Archaeologists from Mainz University continue their excavation work in Iran
Archaeologists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz have been progressively examining the city located in the ancient Elamite site of Haft Tappeh in southwestern Iran since 2002.

Related Archaeologists Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Setbacks
Failure can feel lonely and final. But can we learn from failure, even reframe it, to feel more like a temporary setback? This hour, TED speakers on changing a crushing defeat into a stepping stone. Guests include entrepreneur Leticia Gasca, psychology professor Alison Ledgerwood, astronomer Phil Plait, former professional athlete Charly Haversat, and UPS training manager Jon Bowers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".