I have a whole day set aside for data analysis and number crunching of PKAP Survey data. This is the first step in writing up the definitive analysis of the distributional data from PKAP for the planned monograph. We have imposed a deadline of January 15th for producing a set of basic chapters focused on the survey data.
Today, I am working on getting an overall sense of the chronological and spatial distribution of material at the site. While we understand this in an impressionistic way, we have done very little second phases analysis to challenge or test our impressions. This kind of analysis involves testing our general and largely impressionistic observations against the actual data parsed in different, more systematic and critical ways.
So, to begin, a random map. This map shows the toponyms assigned in the field to various areas in the PKAP survey area. I didn't include the names of the toponyms, in part because they don't matter here. What is interesting is when the various toponyms overlap each other in ways that cartographically do not seem to make sense, but sure reflect some reality on the ground as our team leaders (who recorded toponyms in the field) sought to associate spaces in our survey universe with known features in the landscape. Since our survey world was essentially an abstract grid superimposed on the landscape arbitrarily, it was difficult to assign spaces to features -- especially when we found ourselves in the open coastal plain.
My next challenge was to determine whether these toponyms had any correlation with the distribution of material on the ground. The notion is that our in-field observations reflect something and they seem to coincide fairly clearly with topographic differences across the site.
This chart shows the chronological distribution of material across some of the toponyms above. Although I did need to aggregate some of the areas together to produce sufficient samples to form the basis of comparison, the results, nevertheless show that the toponyms do tend reflect different chronological distributions of material. This, in turn, suggests that a unitary view of the site would likely distort some of the less pronounced periods that only become visible when compared to material present in their immediate areas. Of course, the areas compared in this chart could be reconstituted and compared using more sophisticated groupings than simply toponyms. For example, some of the areas are topographically district from others either on the top of ridges or physically distant from other areas. Artifact densities vary across the site as well. Some types of material might be more present in higher or lower density sites -- suggesting that parts of the site saw occupation for only particular periods.
We can also plot the chronological distribution of material across the entire site filtering for various kinds of artifacts. In this case, I offer the chronological distribution of ceramics across the entire site and compare it to the chronological distribution of feature sherds (not body sherds) and fineware.