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Title: Computation applications in archaeology
Author: Wilcock, John Denis
Awarding Body: Keele University
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 1972
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This thesis is a critical analysis of the use which has been made of the computer in archaeology up to the year 1972. The main chapters cover the applications in archaeology of Statistics, Information Retrieval, Graphics, Pottery Classification and Survey Reduction. A large body of Miscellaneous Applications, including Pollen Analysis, are also examined. The majority of computer applications have been in Statistics. These applications include Numerical Taxonomy, Matrix Manipulation and Seriation, the generation of hypotheses and models, MUltidimensional Scaling, Cumulative Percentage Graphs and Trend Surface Analysis. It is worthwhile to note that for small sets of data several manual methods give comparable results to complex computer analyses and at far less cost. Computer Information Retrieval is examined in the light of its use for large bodies of specialist archaeological information, for museum cataloguing, and for the compilation of a site excavation record using a remote terminal. The use of Computer Graphics in the production of archaeological maps, plans and diagrams is examined. Facilities include the production of dot-density plots, distribution maps, histograms, piecharts, pottery diagrams, site block diagrams with 3D rotation and perspective, sections, pit outlines and projectile point classification by Fourier analysis. The use of the d-Mac Pencil Follower in the objective classification of pottery is described, followed by computer analysis of the resultant multivariate data. The use of the computer in the routine reduction of geophysical observations taken on archaeological sites is described. Complex filtering procedures for the removal of background effects and the enhancement of the archaeological anomalies are examined. Since other workers have concentrated on the applications of statistics in archaeology~ this thesis explores the relatively neglected fields of Graphics and Pottery Classification. Evidence is presented that significant advances have been made in the classification of pottery vessels and projectile points~ and in the graphical output of results. A number of new programs have been developed; these include software which may be operated from a remote terminal at an archaeological site. The P L U T A R C H System (Program Library Useful To ARCHaeologists) is described. This is a control program which uses interactive graphics and overlays to combine all the computer facilities available to the archaeologist. The individual graphics, statistics, instrument survey plotting and information retrieval techniques when combined in this way can communicate via global storage, and become even more powerful.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science