Comparing Social Networks in Archaeology

ASM 591 Final Project Proposal

Robert Bischoff


Project Background: My Dissertation Topic

  • My dissertation research focuses on small arrow points in the United States Southwest during two time periods:
    • The AD 800s was a period of rapid community growth and reorganization
    • Similarly, the post-AD 1350 period was also a period of major community reorganization
  • Changes in social networks for both time periods have been studied through the use of ceramic assemblages

Project Background: My Dissertation Topic

  • My research expands this analysis to study these social networks through projectile points and other available data, including ceramics
  • The goal of this class project is to create a general model to compare social networks created through different social processes
    • These processes are the production and circulation of ceramics and projectile points

Social Networks in Archaeology

  • Social networks analysis is becoming a common tool in archaeology
  • Most analyses consider networks created from one type of artifact–usually ceramics
    • Note: these social networks do not necessarily reflect actual social connections in the past–a good definition is that they represent the potential for interaction
  • An example of this is the Southwest Social Networks Project (e.g., Mills et al. 2013)
    • although in some analyses the authors also considered obsidian exchange

Southwest Social Networks Project