Not sure what mathmatical route to take

mamakmoon

New Member
I am trying to compare the quantities and types of stone artifacts between four different archaeological excavation units from one archaeological site. While all units are 1 m. by 1 m., each excavation unit has been dug to different depths. How can I compare each unit's number & percentage of artifacts by type when each unit varies by depth and subsequently by amounts of excavated earth? Basically, I am trying to see if any differences in artifact quantities and percentages are significant or if the quantative differences are because of the size sample. Help Please!

Thanks,
Kim:wave:

JohnM

TS Contributor
Could you standardize each unit's archeological "find" by dividing the quantity by the size of the corresponding dig? That might help you make comparisons....

mamakmoon

New Member
Another option

Could the Relative Frequency or Cumulative Relative Frequency help me find useful comparrisons?

JohnM

TS Contributor
Relative frequency of ........?

The way I'm looking at it (maybe I'm over-simplifying it?) there are 4 excavation units, each having a quantity and variety of stone artifacts. To avoid comparing apples to oranges, let's say the following data is available (fictional):

Unit------Depth--------Quantity
1---------100------------10
2---------220------------6
3---------175------------11
4---------235------------10

For each unit, divide quantity by depth to get an artifact "rate"

10/100 = 0.100
6/220 = 0.027
11/175 = 0.063
10/235 = 0.043

Even though unit 1 is "tied" for second place in terms of quantity, its yield per foot of digging is the highest....

mamakmoon

New Member
Thanks, here's some other feedback that was also helpful

You are interested in the DENSITY of artifacts, i.e., how many artifacts
per cubic meter of matrix.

Let's say you have a 20 cm-thick level. THen you have .2 cubic meters of
dirt (1 m x 1m x .2 m = .2 m3) If there are 22 artifacts in it, the
density is 22 artifacts/.2m3 earth = 110 artifacts/m3.

If you have a level that has 64 artifacts and is 40 cm thick, the density
is: 64/(1 x 1 x .4) = 64/.4 = 640/4 = 160 artifacts/m3.

*DON'T* divide percents this way. Just look at raw numbers.

--The previous comment was very close