© 2016

Uncertainty and Sensitivity Analysis in Archaeological Computational Modeling

  • Marieka Brouwer Burg
  • Hans Peeters
  • William A. Lovis

Part of the Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology book series (IDCA)

About this book


This volume deals with the pressing issue of uncertainty in archaeological modeling. Detecting where and when uncertainty is introduced to the modeling process is critical, as are strategies for minimizing, reconciling, or accommodating such uncertainty. Included chapters provide unique perspectives on uncertainty in archaeological modeling, ranging in both theoretical and methodological orientation. The strengths and weaknesses of various identification and mitigation techniques are discussed, in particular sensitivity analysis. The chapters demonstrate that for archaeological modeling purposes, there is no quick fix for uncertainty; indeed, each archaeological model requires intensive consideration of uncertainty and specific applications for calibration and validation. As very few such techniques have been problematized in a systematic manner or published in the archaeological literature, this volume aims to provide guidance and direction to other modelers in the field by distilling some basic principles for model testing derived from insight gathered in the case studies presented. Additionally, model applications and their attendant uncertainties are presented from distinct spatio-temporal contexts and will appeal to a broad range of archaeological modelers. This volume will also be of interest to non-modeling archaeologists, as consideration of uncertainty when interpreting the archaeological record is also a vital concern for the development of non-formal (or implicit) models of human behavior in the past.



Agent based modeling (ABM) Differential criteria weighting Empirical data set mining and inductive pattern recognition Geographic and behavioral criteria for archaeological models Linear versus non-linear modeling Sensitivity Analysis (SA) Simulative, predictive, and heuristic frameworks in archaeology

Editors and affiliations

  • Marieka Brouwer Burg
    • 1
  • Hans Peeters
    • 2
  • William A. Lovis
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Groningen Institute of ArchaeologyUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Anthropology and MSU MuseMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

About the editors

Marieka Brouwer Burg (Ph.D. 2011 Michigan State University) is Lecturer of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Hampshire, New Hampshire, USA. She is interested in the effects of landscape evolution and climate change on human communities, as well as reconstructing decision processes and perceptions of landscape in the past. She uses GIS-based archaeological computational modeling to explore these processes in both Old and New World contexts. Her current research focuses on investigating the spatiotemporal dimensions of ancient Maya mobility and socioeconomic interactions in the central Belize River Valley, Belize.

J.H.M. Peeters (Ph.D. 2007 University of Amsterdam) is Associate Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology at the Groningen Institute of Archaeology, University of Groningen.  Research interests include Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology and Ethnography; Landscape Archaeology; Lithic Technology; Computational Modeling; Site Formation Dynamics and Fractal Geometry.  Current research projects include Late Glacial and Holocene Hunter-Gatherer Landscape Use of the North Sea Basin; Mesolithic Lithic Technology; Hunter-Gatherer Pyro-Technology; Dynamics of Intra-Site Spatial Patterning.

William A. Lovis (Ph.D. 1973 Michigan State University) is Professor and Curator of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology and MSU Museum at Michigan State University, Michigan, USA. His research interests include Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology and Ethnography; The Transition to Horticulture; Applied Theory, Analytic Methods and Research Design; Human-Environment Interactions and Regional Taphonomy; Paleoenvironmental Change; Public Policy including Forensic Archaeology, Law Enforcement Training, and Repatriation; Great Lakes/Midwest and Europe. Current research projects include archaeological site taphonomy and preservation in the Lake Michigan coastal dunes, Mesolithic regional settlement and mobility in Yorkshire, northern England, and hemispheric climate impacts on Great Lakes coastal dune evolution and activation cycling.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Uncertainty and Sensitivity Analysis in Archaeological Computational Modeling
  • Editors Marieka Brouwer Burg
    Hans Peeters
    William A. Lovis
  • Series Title Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology
  • Series Abbreviated Title Interdisc.Contributions Archaeology
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-27831-5
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-80225-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-27833-9
  • Series ISSN 1568-2722
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVI, 175
  • Number of Illustrations 24 b/w illustrations, 7 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Archaeology
    Computer Appl. in Social and Behavioral Sciences
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