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K-means technique
CATEGORY: typology
DEFINITION: A clustering method whereby the multi-dimensional space of dissimilarities is partitioned into an optimal number of groups.
arithmetic mean
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: An average; a measure of central tendency calculated by dividing the sum of observations by the number of observations.
difference-of-means test
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: Statistical test comparing two sample means to see if a sample probably came from a given population or if two samples probably came from the same population.
mean
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: In mathematics, a quantity that has a value intermediate between those of the extreme members of some set. In archaeological technique, it is a measure of central tendency in a distribution. The arithmetic mean is the sum of all values, divided by the number of cases. Other measures of central tendency include the mode - the most commonly occurring value - and the median - the value in the middle of the distribution's range.
mean ceramic dating
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: mean ceramic dating formula, mean ceramic date
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A statistical technique devised by Stanley South for pooling the median age of manufacture for temporally significant pottery types at American Colonial sites. It is especially applicable to 18th-century sites, where many distinctive ceramic types may be expected to occur in large numbers. The mean ceramic date is found by multiplying the sum of the median dates for the manufacture of each ceramic type of the frequency of each ceramic type and dividing this figure by the total frequency of all ceramic types. The median date for each type is arrived at from documentary evidence. One shortcomings is that the supposition that the median date coincides with the period of maximum use; another is the use of a count of sherds rather than whole vessels.
mean square error
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A measure of the efficiency of a possibly biased statistic or estimate, based on squared deviations from the parameter.
meander
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any running design consisting of a single line or band twisting regularly. The spiral meander is a simple running spiral, the square meander a rectilinear form of the same thing. The earliest known examples of finger painting are the prehistoric decorative and figurative meanders traced on walls of the Altamira caves in Spain.

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