Statistics for Archaeologists: A Common Sense Approach / Edition 2

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

A statistical text tied to archeological examples digging into the fundamental principles and applications of quantitative data analysis for use in the field or laboratory. Drennan (U. of Pittsburgh) demonstrates how statistics can augment archeological research without patronizing the non-statistician, exploring the significance of relationships between variables, and topics in sampling which incorporate particular archeological research concerns such as how much support a set of data can provide for a conclusion, and the implications of random sampling. The text includes over 100 illustrations to help make its point. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
Praise for the 2nd Edition:

"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, etting 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 complainthat there is too much "talky talky" surroundingthe formulas. That talk, missing from many applied elementary statistics, is especially what the audience for this bookneedsand 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).

Praise for 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)

“Robert Drennan has done the field a great service.” (American Antiquity)

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)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441904126
  • Publisher: Springer US
  • Publication date: 8/21/2009
  • Series: Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology Series
  • Edition description: 2nd ed. 2009
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 333
  • Sales rank: 1,113,671
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Table of Contents

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. Index.
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