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Statistics for Archaeologists: A Common Sense Approach


Series: Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology

By: Robert D Drennan(Author)

333 pages, 65 b/w illustrations, 20 tables


Paperback | Mar 2010 | Edition: 2 | #237423 | ISBN-13: 9781441960719
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £44.99 $59/€50 approx
Hardback | Aug 2009 | Edition: 2 | #237424 | ISBN-13: 9781441904126
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £179.50 $237/€201 approx

About this book

In the decade since its publication, the first edition of Statistics for Archaeologists has become a staple in the classroom. Taking a jargon-free approach, this teaching tool introduces the basic principles of statistics to archaeologists. The author covers the necessary techniques for analyzing data collected in the field and laboratory as well as for evaluating the significance of the relationships between variables. In addition, chapters discuss the special concerns of working with samples. This well-illustrated guide features several practice problems making it an ideal text for students in archaeology and anthropology.

Using feedback from students and teachers who have been using the first edition, as well as another ten years of personal experience with the text, the author has provided an updated and revised second edition with a number of important changes. New topics covered include:
- Proportions and Densities
- Error Ranges for Medians
- Resampling Approaches
- Residuals from Regression
- Point Sampling
- Multivariate Analysis
    - Similarity Measures
    - Multidimensional Scaling
    - Principal Components Analysis
    - Cluster Analysis

Those already familiar with the clear and useful format of Statistics for Archaeologists will find this new edition a welcome update, and the new sections will make this seminal textbook an indispensible resource for a whole new group of students, professors, and practitioners.

"Statistics is often perceived as something mysterious and hostile, and this holds particularly true for archaeologists [...] The merit of Drennan's work is that he takes readers by the hand and gently guides them through that minefield, letting them discover that statistics can be a matter easily approached and understood from a commonsense perspective [...] Fourteen years after the first edition, a number of important new topics are added. They provide the reader with useful tools to explore archaeological data as the data becomes progressively multivariate [...] Each section uses the same case study and data set, thus enhancing the comparability of this technique [...] Drennan successfully conveys complex concepts in smple ways [...] both students and scholars will surely welcome this gentle introduction to statistics, wherein simplicity does not detract from scientific precision"
– Gianmarco Alberti, American Journal of Archaeology, 114.4, 2010

"this is a superb book, setting the use of basic statistics in a format that makes sense of the formulas rather than just saying "compute this". Mathematically fluent students who scorn a specific context will complain that there is too much "talky talky" surrounding the formulas. That talk, missing from many applied elementary statistics, is especially what the audience for this book needs and deserves, and rarely gets in class, in my experience [...] Robert Drennan [has] [...] succeeded where others have failed, namely to explain, in an understandable way, the advantages of simple statistical techniques in a specific applied context. I heartily recommend this title."
– Norman R. Draper, International Statistical Review, 79.1, 2011

Reviews of the the first edition:

"Robert Drennan has done the field a great service."
– Larry R. Kimball, American Antiquity, Vol. 62 (1997)

"There is a great deal to recommend this book [...] It is written in an engaging style [...] and it is consistently focused on the practical problems of archaeological analysis."
– Robert E. Dewar, SAS Bulletin, July 1997

" [...] this book is highly recommended."
– Gary Lock, American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 101 (1997)

"I will use this book when I teach statistics in the future, and I will gladly recommend it to others."
– Randall McGuire, Historical Archaeology, Vol. 32 (1998)

"an excellent introductory textbook [...] introducing complex ideas on statistics to students in a practical, non-threatening way [...] [It] will help us to train our students to be better consumers of the statistical analyses they must deal with throughout their careers."
– Mark Aldendorfer, Journal of Field Archaeology, Vol. 25 (1998)

"Statistics for Archaeologists effectively integrates both traditional statistical methods and more recent techniques of exploratory data analysis (EDA) [...] One of the major strengths of this book is its emphasis on sampling [...] Drennan has produced a usable and insightful statistics text."
Journal of Field Archaeology, 1998


Numerical Exploration

1. Batches of Numbers (Stemandleaf Plots, Histograms)
2. The Level, or Center, of a Batch (Mean and Median)
3. The Spread or Dispersion of a Batch (Range, Midspread, and Standard Deviation)
4. Comparing Batches (The BoxandDot Plot)
5. The Shape or Distribution of a Batch (Symmetry and Transformations)
6. Categories (Column and Row Proportions) Random Sampling
7. Samples and Populations (Randomness and Sampling Bias)
8. Different Samples from the Same Population (Variation, the `Special Batch', and Standard Error)
9. Confidence and Population Means (Precision and Error Ranges, Student's t, Determining How Large of a Sample Is Needed)
10. Categories and Population Proportions (Percentages Instead of Means) Relationships between Two Variables
11. Comparing Two Sample Means (The t Test, Results and Interpretations)
12. Comparing Means of More than Two Samples (Relating a Categorical Variable to a Measurement Variable, Analysis of Variance)
13. Comparing Proportions of Different Samples (Relating a Categorical Variable to Another Categorical Variable, Chisquare)
14. Relating a Measurement Variable to Another Measurement Variable
15. Relating Ranks
16. Sampling a Population with Subgroups
17. Sampling a Site or Region with Spatial Units
18. Sampling without Finding Anything
19. Sampling and Reality Suggested Reading


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