Connecting the dots: towards archaeological network analysis.
Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 29, (3), . (doi:10.1111/j.1468-0092.2010.00349.x).
In recent years network analysis has been applied in archaeological research to examine the structure of archaeological relationships of whatever sort. However, these archaeological applications share a number of issues concerning 1) the role of archaeological data in networks; 2) the diversity of network structures, their consequences and their interpretation; 3) the critical use of quantitative tools; and 4) the influence of other disciplines, especially sociology. This article concerns a deconstruction of past archaeological methods for examining networks. Through a case study of Roman table wares in the eastern Mediterranean, the article highlights a number of issues with network analysis as a method for archaeology. It urges caution regarding the uncritical application of network analysis methods developed in other disciplines and applied to archaeology. However, it stresses the potential benefits of network analysis for the archaeological discipline and acknowledges the need for specifically archaeological network analysis, which should be based on relational thinking and can be expanded with an archaeological toolset for quantitative analysis
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