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The Use of Multiple Discriminant Analysis in Classifying Prehistoric Phytolith Assemblages Recovered from Cooking Residues

TitleThe Use of Multiple Discriminant Analysis in Classifying Prehistoric Phytolith Assemblages Recovered from Cooking Residues
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsHart, JP, Matson, RG
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume36
Pagination74-83
KeywordsChord distance, Cluster analysis, Discriminant analysis, maize, Mantel test, Northeastern North American archaeology, Rondel phytoliths, Zea mays ssp. mays
Abstract

In the investigation of the dispersal of maize (Zea mays ssp. mays) from south-central Mexico to the northern and southern limits of agriculture in the Western Hemisphere archaeologists and paleoethnobotanists are increasingly turning to the microbotanical record. Recent analysis of phytolith assemblages from charred cooking residues on pottery sherds in central New York recovered using 209 rondel phytolith variables has identified maize as early as 2270 ± 35 B.P. In this article we use discriminant analysis to re-classify these rondel phytolith assemblages resulting in only seven variables. The results are consistent with those achieved earlier using many more variables and a less formal statistical approach in terms of classification and in similarity of the original and reduced data matrix as seen by the Mantel test and cluster analyses.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2008.07.011
DOI10.1016/j.jas.2008.07.011