(View exact match)inferenceCATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A determination arrived at by reasoning.
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arrowheadSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: projectile point, arrow-head
DEFINITION: A small object of bone, metal, or stone that has been formed as the pointed end of an arrow for penetration and is often found at sites of prehistoric peoples. The earliest known are Solutrean points of the Upper Palaeolithic. Arrowheads are often the only evidence of archery since the arrow shaft and bow rarely survive. The term projectile point is generally preferable because it avoids an inference regarding the method of hafting and propulsion. Most often, arrowheads were placed in a slot in the shaft, tied, then fixed with resin.clearing excavationCATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any excavation designed primarily to reveal the horizontal and, by inference, functional dimensions of an archaeological site - such as the extent, distribution, and patterning of buried data.databaseCATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: A compilation or storage system for information that is used for decision-making, inferences, interpretation, and testing hypotheses.hypotheticodeductionSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: hypothetico-deductive explanation, hypothetico-deductive reasoning
DEFINITION: A type of scientific reasoning in which a hypothesis is made, predictions are deduced, and then the hypothesis tested for accuracy against archaeological data. Deductive reasoning is used to find and verify the logical consequences. Developed by Sir Isaac Newton in the late 17th century, it is a procedure for the construction of a scientific theory that will account for results obtained through direct observation and experimentation and that will, through inference, predict further effects that can then be verified or disproved by empirical (observed or experienced) evidence derived from other experiments.middle-range researchSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Middle Range Theory, middle-range theory
DEFINITION: A set of frameworks or theories that allow the construction of accurate statements of past behavior based on the analysis of the contemporary archaeological record. It applies to any investigation aimed at linking the static data from the archaeological record with the dynamic processes that formed it. The frameworks link the archaeological record and the original activities that produced that record, allowing archaeologists to make inferences about past human behavior. It is considered by some to be the key to a scientific understanding of the archaeological record.statisticsCATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The science of making valid inferences about the characteristics of a group of persons or objects on the basis of numerical information obtained from a randomly selected sample of the group. Artifacts, ecofacts, features, sites, etc. can be reduced to a series of measurements, analytically determined values, or systematic observations which can be represented as numbers. The distributions of items with respect to these variables can then be studied. A wide variety of quantities summarizing the distributions may be calculated and compared, possibly determining the degree of similarity between distributions. The use of statistics procedures in archaeology most often involves assumption because archaeologists are dealing with remains which are only representative of the original population of artifacts, ecofacts, features, sites, etc.