Social network analysis in archaeology

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Social network analysis (SNA) in archaeology has become important for a range of theoretical and methodological approaches that can more generally be characterized as relational. They are relational in that it is the ties between actors (or nodes) that define social connections. Archaeologists are currently employing a diversity of theoretical approaches to networks, and the perspective taken in this review is that SNA can provide insights into a number of different social processes using different theories. Following a brief historical overview, I discuss two aspects of SNA: The structural position of the actor or node, and characterizations of whole networks. I then summarize several broad classes of archaeological networks: Historical, spatial, and material. I conclude with a call for more bridging approaches to span alternative theoretical and methodological approaches in the archaeology of networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-397
Number of pages19
JournalAnnual Review of Anthropology
StatePublished - Oct 23 2017


  • archaeological networks
  • complexity
  • relational archaeology
  • social network analysis
  • spatial analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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