A method for chronological apportioning of ceramic assemblages

John M. Roberts, Barbara J. Mills, Jeffery J. Clark, W. Randall Haas, Deborah L. Huntley, Meaghan A. Trowbridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Artifact assemblages from long-inhabited sites may include ceramic types and wares from multiple time periods, making temporal comparisons between sites difficult. This is especially problematic in macro-regional data sets compiled from multiple sources with varying degrees of chronological control. We present a method for chronological apportioning of ceramic assemblages that considers site occupation dates, ceramic production dates, and popularity distribution curves. The chronological apportioning can also be adjusted to take into account different population sizes during the site occupation span. Our method is illustrated with ceramic data from late prehispanic sites in the San Pedro Valley and Tonto Basin, Arizona, U.S.A., compiled as part of the Southwest Social Networks Project. The accuracy of the apportioning method is evaluated by comparing apportioned assemblages with those from nearby contemporaneous single component sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1513-1520
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Ceramic wares
  • Multi-component sites
  • Period-specific analysis
  • Popularity distributions
  • U.S. Southwest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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