Problems of Identification and Quantification in Archaeozoological Analysis, Part II: Presentation of an Alternative Counting Method

Problems of Identification and Quantification in Archaeozoological Analysis, Part II:... Archaeozoologists commonly use Number of Identified SPecimens (NISP) and Minimum Number of Elements (MNE) as measures of anatomical abundances. According to a blind test examining the reproducibility and accuracy of identifications of ungulate remains (Morin et al., Part I, Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, doi: 10.1007/s10816-016-9300-4), NISP provides estimates of skeletal abundances that are less robust than those based on MNE. However, although results were improved with the latter method, MNE is not free of problems. Here, we show through an analysis of paired NISP-MNE data for 24 classes of elements that MNE is prone to inflate the representation of rare parts (as measured by NISP), a phenomenon more strongly expressed in certain elements than in others. Moreover, some elements show a wide scatter of points, which raises issues of data reproducibility. MNE is also known for being seriously affected by aggregation methods. These fundamental problems severely undermine the value of MNE as a measure of abundance. This article introduces an alternative counting method that avoids many of the weaknesses of MNE. This counting method, called the Number of Distinct Elements (NDE), focuses on the occurrence of pre-determined, invariant landmarks counted on mutually exclusive specimens. Preliminary experimental results suggest that NDE counts are robust predictors of skeletal, and perhaps taxonomic, abundances. Moreover, the NDE approach eliminates the complex and time-consuming task of spreading or drawing specimens to identify fragment overlap. Furthermore, NDE values are additive and easy to calculate. Given these features, the NDE approach represents a compelling alternative to MNE in archaeozoological analysis. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory Springer Journals

Problems of Identification and Quantification in Archaeozoological Analysis, Part II: Presentation of an Alternative Counting Method

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer_journal/problems-of-identification-and-quantification-in-archaeozoological-4KzBhi7iSZ
Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Social Sciences; Archaeology; Anthropology
ISSN
1072-5369
eISSN
1573-7764
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10816-016-9301-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches

$49/month

Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.

$588

$360/year

billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial