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  1. We propose a dedicated research effort on the determinants of settlement persistence in the ancient world, with the potential to significantly advance the scientific understanding of urban sustainability today. Settlements (cities, towns, villages) are locations with two key attributes: They frame human interactions and activities in space, and they are where people dwell or live. Sustainability, in this case, focuses on the capacity of structures and functions of a settlement system (geography, demography, institutions) to provide for continuity of safe habitation. The 7,000-y-old experience of urbanism, as revealed by archaeology and history, includes many instances of settlements and settlement systems enduring, adapting to, or generating environmental, institutional, and technological changes. The field of urban sustainability lacks a firm scientific foundation for understanding the long durée, relying instead on narratives of collapse informed by limited case studies. We argue for the development of a new interdisciplinary research effort to establish scientific understanding of settlement and settlement system persistence. Such an effort would build upon the many fields that study human settlements to develop new theories and databases from the extensive documentation of ancient and premodern urban systems. A scientific foundation will generate novel insights to advance the field of urban sustainability.
  2. Archaeologists are increasingly interested in networks constructed from site assemblage data, in which weighted network ties reflect sites’ assemblage similarity. Equivalent networks would arise in other scientific fields where actors’ similarity is assessed by comparing distributions of observed counts, so the assemblages studied here can represent other kinds of distributions in other domains. One concern with such work is that sampling variability in the assemblage network and, in turn, sampling variability in measures calculated from the network must be recognized in any comprehensive analysis. In this study, we investigated the use of the bootstrap as a means of estimating sampling variability in measures of assemblage networks. We evaluated the performance of the bootstrap in simulated assemblage networks, using a probability structure based on the actual distribution of sherds of ceramic wares in a region with 25 archaeological sites. Results indicated that the bootstrap was successful in estimating the true sampling variability of eigenvector centrality for the 25 sites. This held both for centrality scores and for centrality ranks, as well as the ratio of first to second eigenvalues of the network (similarity) matrix. Findings encourage the use of the bootstrap as a tool in analyses of network data derived frommore »counts.« less
  3. La cerámica pintada Mimbres del suroeste de los Estados Unidos es reconocida por sus diseños espectaculares. La literatura sobre estilo e identidad sugiere tres conceptos útiles para entender su significado social, su fronteridad ( boundaries ), sus múltiples capas de variación y su contexto histórico. Estos conceptos se investigan sintetizando estudios anteriores con nuevos análisis. La distribución de la cerámica Mimbres está fuertemente delimitada, como lo demuestran el uso de los datos del proyecto cyberSW. La variación de los diseños es discernible en varios niveles. (1) Artistas individuales crearon estilos distintivos. (2) Diseños específicos se distribuyen homogéneamente por toda la región, una conclusión demostrada en parte con nuevos análisis de los diseños geométricos. (3) De manera panregional, el contenido, la estructura regular y la aparición en múltiples medios de los diseños sugieren que fueron cargados de significado, una conclusión apoyada por los nuevos análisis de los diseños. El considerar estos hallazgos en su contexto histórico proporciona perspectivas respecto al significado social y la elaboración de la cerámica: El crecimiento poblacional en la región Mimbres, rica en recursos, engendró sistemas de tenencia de la tierra, marcados en parte por entierros que incluyeron cerámica. La cerámica llegó a transmitir el mensaje “Yomore »pertenezco aquí” desde dos perspectivas. La adopción de la cerámica por parte de la gente, incluyendo los inmigrantes, indicó su aceptación de las formas de vida establecidas en la región, y su acceso a la cerámica indicó su aceptación en el entorno social.« less