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SAA 2021 - Grass Valley

Repository for my presentation at the Society for American Archaeology 86th Annual Meeting Online. Slides made using xaringan in R.

Session: "Far West Paleoindian Archaeology: Papers from the Next Generation"

Title: “Explaining Paleoindian Settlement in the Intermountain West: A Regression Adjustment Approach”

Authors: Kenneth B. Vernon, David Zeanah, D. Craig Young, Robert G. Elston, Brian F. Codding


Identifying the ecological drivers of Paleoindian settlement has broad implications for a host of related behaviors, including colonization, mobility, and subsistence. Unfortunately, important proxies like spatial site patterning suffer from well-known sampling biases, most notably, taphonomic decay, opportunistic survey, and imperfect detection. To address these biases and reliably evaluate hypotheses regarding the ecological motivations for Paleoindian settlement, we draw on recent advances in the allied field of ecology, where scientists face structurally similar challenges. Specifically, we implement a hierarchical modeling approach known as “regression adjustment,” which leverages data from multiple species to model both the spatial distribution of a target species and its potential for biased sampling. In this case, we draw on the entire archaeological record of our study region, Grass Valley, Nevada, to model the distribution of just one population, its Paleoindian colonists.

Word count: 135/200


Vernon et al 2021 - Xaringan slide deck






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