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A SIMPLE GRAPHIC APPROACH AND POOR MAN'S CLUSTERING TECHNIQUE FOR INVESTIGATING SURFACE LITHIC SCATTER TYPES

Kenneth L. Kvamme
Plains Anthropologist
Vol. 33, No. 121 (August 1988), pp. 385-394
Published by: Maney Publishing on behalf of the Plains Anthropological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25668777
Page Count: 10
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A SIMPLE GRAPHIC APPROACH AND POOR MAN'S CLUSTERING TECHNIQUE FOR INVESTIGATING SURFACE LITHIC SCATTER TYPES
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Abstract

To the archaeologist working in much of the Great Plains one of the most difficult problems rests in making sense out of the numerous lithic scatter sites which are commonly found. In the absence of significant features like bison bone beds, hearths, or tipi rings (often the case), it is difficult to define types or classes of sites in a justifiable manner based solely on amorphous collections of lithic debris and the occasional chipped stone tool. To help address this problem, a simple graphic technique is presented that facilitates clustering of sites into types by similarities in assemblage content. The clustering is achieved through the simultaneous consideration of multiple dimensions reflecting artifactual and other site characteristics. The technique does not require complex multivariate manipulations of data nor unmeetable assumptions. Rather, it is based on simple graphic results which are highy interpretable and easy to understand.

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