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Contributions of Bayesian Phylogenetics to Exploring Patterns of Macroevolution in Archaeological Data

Gjesfjeld, E. & Jordan, P., 2019, Handbook of Evolutionary Research in Archaeology . Prentiss, A. (ed.). New York : Springer, p. 161-182 22 p.

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  • Contributions of Bayesian Phylogenetics to Exploring Patterns of Macroevolution in Archaeological Data

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Archaeology is often defined by our interest in how cultural traditions change over time and generate patterns of material culture diversity. As acknowledged throughout the history of archaeological research, evolutionary biology broadly parallels these interests by also examining patterns of inheritance and diversity. Today, one of the most common frameworks used in evolutionary biology to infer patterns of macroevolution is Bayesian phylogenetic inference. Despite the popularity of this approach across the sciences, few worked examples can be found in the archaeological literature. This chapter closes this gap by providing a step-by-step application of a Bayesian phylogenetic approach to archaeological data from the Great Plains. We conclude that Bayesian methods are not only able to reconstruct evolutionary relationships in a more robust manner but also ask a new generation of questions about the pace of cultural change, periods of cultural divergence, and rates of cultural diversification.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Evolutionary Research in Archaeology
EditorsAnna Prentiss
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherSpringer
Chapter9
Pages161-182
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-11117-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-11116-8
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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