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Blinded by the light: developing models of settlement and mobility with the use of spectroscopy and exploratory methods
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies, Environmental Archaeology Lab.
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis an exploratory approach has been used to study settlement and mobility among hunter-gatherer societies in Northern Sweden during the 2 000 – 0 BC period. The focus has been on developing the topics of bifacial point use and raw material management of quartzand quartzite materials. The study combines the information generated at multiple analytical scales in order to address knowledge gaps and facilitate new research. The thesis consists of an introductory text and four research papers.

The first paper discusses modelling approaches in archaeology. It stresses the interlinked nature of models that are created at different spatial scales, and that weaknesses in lower-lying models may impact higher-level models in a study. The paper also discusses the question of whether an analysis is better suited for modelling in the “variable space”, rather than geographical space, as the data my need to undergo unnecessary simplification that hides certain features.

The second paper is an evaluation of the current dating evidence for bifacial points made of quartz or quartzite in Norrland. The study includes 124 radiocarbon datesfrom 30 excavated sites with finds of bifacial points or preforms in the County of Västerbotten. Bayesian modelling is used to evaluate the potential for building a chronological model for bifacial point use in the region. The results indicate that few artefacts can be related to a dated feature, with only 3 dates that may be argued to stem from a secure dating context that dates the points. These dates all fall within the 1 900 – 1 700 BC period.

The third paper is a spectroscopic study of quartz and quartzite material. The study is based on a dataset of 126 quartz/quartzite points and preforms from 47 sites along the upper Ångerman River. Non-destructive analysis was performed using three different spectroscopic instrumentations (Near Infrared, Raman, X-Ray Fluorescence). The data were evaluated using Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA). Each instrumentation showed detectable differences in the material, such as the presence or absence of graphite. The study highlights the potential of non-destructive screening methods and lays the foundation for future survey efforts.

The fourth paper is a spatial analysis of the distribution of bifacial points and preforms made of quartz and quartzite within the County of Västerbotten. The Ångerman and Ume/Vindel Rivers exhibit different distribution patterns, with higher proportions of preforms closer to the mountains. The distribution pattern is evaluated using Exploratory Data Analysis, including geostatistical methods. The capacity for previous settlement and mobility models to explain the observed patterns are then discussed in the light of factors such as archaeological survey coverage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2024. , p. 66
Series
Archaeology and environment, ISSN 0281-5877 ; 34
Keywords [en]
archaeology, hunter-gatherer, spectroscopy, chemometrics, quartz, quartzite, bifacial, lithics, geoarchaeology, exploratory, spatial analysis, modelling
Keywords [sv]
arkeologi, jakt- och fångstfolk, spektroskopi, kemometri, kvarts, kvartsit, bifacial, flathuggen, geoarkeologi, rumslig analys, modellering
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Archaeology; environmental archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-220813ISBN: 978-91-8070-290-4 (electronic)ISBN: 978-91-8070-289-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-220813DiVA, id: diva2:1837269
Public defence
2024-03-08, HUM.D.210, Humanisthuset, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-02-16 Created: 2024-02-13 Last updated: 2024-02-13Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Non-Spatial Data and Modelling Multiscale Systems in Archaeology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Non-Spatial Data and Modelling Multiscale Systems in Archaeology
2022 (English)In: Special Issue Published in Cooperation with Meso’2020 – Tenth International Conference on the Mesolithic in Europe / [ed] Thomas Perrin; Benjamin Marquebielle; Sylvie Philibert; Nicolas Valdeyron, Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter Open, 2022, Vol. 8, no 1, p. 578-593Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This article discusses the multiscale nature of modelling in archaeology and its relationship with higher-level spatial analysis. The application and purpose of modelling in archaeology is as varied as the multidisciplinary field itself. With the increasing integration of geographical information systems (GIS) and other digital methods into the archaeological workflow, both new opportunities and potential pitfalls present themselves. The struggle of balancing informal inferences of human behaviour in a formal system, such as GIS, has been the subject of much discussion, as well as the questioning of whether some modelling tasks would be better suited for implementation outside the GIS environment. Higher-level spatial analysis is dependent on a number of lower-level models, each building on the other, inheriting both information and uncertainties. These nuances can be difficult to demonstrate clearly once they have been incorporated into another model, potentially obscured further when restricted by the “geographical space” that is central to GIS. Rather than forcing informal models into a formal environment, an alternative would be to opt instead for the visualization of these within the more flexible “variable space,” where the data are front and centre, and spatial and temporal concepts can function as a means of explaining patterns in the model. This article discusses aspects of the challenges and opportunities involved in these types of analysis and provides examples of alternate approaches that could be considered non-spatial.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter Open, 2022
Series
Open Archaeology, ISSN 2300-6560 ; 2022:8(1)
Keywords
archaeology, GIS, modelling, multiscale, visualization
National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-198459 (URN)10.1515/opar-2022-0250 (DOI)000831181400001 ()2-s2.0-85135532066 (Scopus ID)
Conference
Meso’2020 – Tenth International Conference on the Mesolithic in Europe, Toulouse, France, September 7-11, 2020
Available from: 2022-08-04 Created: 2022-08-04 Last updated: 2024-02-13Bibliographically approved
2. A Point in Time: An evaluation of the bifacial point chronology in Northern Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Point in Time: An evaluation of the bifacial point chronology in Northern Sweden
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-220811 (URN)
Available from: 2024-02-13 Created: 2024-02-13 Last updated: 2024-02-13
3. Quartzite complexities: Non-destructive analysis of bifacial points from Västerbotten, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Quartzite complexities: Non-destructive analysis of bifacial points from Västerbotten, Sweden
2024 (English)In: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, ISSN 2352-409X, E-ISSN 2352-4103, Vol. 53, article id 104381Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Northern Fennoscandia is a geologically complex region affected by both glacial and postglacial processes. Quartzite was a key material type utilized by hunter-gatherers in Northern Sweden around the period 4 000 – 2 000 BP, and is thus critical to the understanding of raw material procurement and material flow within the region. However, there is a severe lack of methodological development in the characterization of these materials, and provenance of locally available geological material is complex and fraught with uncertainty. 126 quartz/quartzite points and preforms were sampled from 47 archaeological sites along the upper Ångerman river valley in Västerbotten, Sweden. The material has been analysed non-destructively using three separate portable spectroscopic instrumentations (Near-infrared, Raman, X-Ray Fluorescence). Evaluation of the spectra and exploratory data analysis using Principal Component Analysis demonstrates detectable differences in the material that likely stem from diagenetic/paragenetic origin. The presence of graphite, muscovite and biotite could likewise provide information on the material’s metamorphic grade. In addition to reaffirming the potential of field-based screening instrumentation, these results will benefit future surveys of geological sources in the region. They also indicate potential for the construction of a predictive model that could classify the quartzite based on its chemical characteristic. Such a model would prove useful in future spatial analysis and testing of models of raw material management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2024
Keywords
archaeology, spectroscopy, chemometrics, quartzite, bifacial point, Sweden
National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-219848 (URN)10.1016/j.jasrep.2024.104381 (DOI)2-s2.0-85183532858 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2024-01-22 Created: 2024-01-22 Last updated: 2024-02-13Bibliographically approved
4. Straight to the point?: Bifacial points and hunter-gatherer mobility in Västerbotten, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Straight to the point?: Bifacial points and hunter-gatherer mobility in Västerbotten, Sweden
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-220812 (URN)
Available from: 2024-02-13 Created: 2024-02-13 Last updated: 2024-02-13

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