A network approach to zooarchaeological datasets and human-centered ecosystems in southwestern Florida

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Zooarchaeological datasets are often large, complex, and difficult to visualize and communicate. Many visual aids and summaries often limit the patterns that can be identified and mask interpretations of relationships between contexts, species, and environmental information. The most commonly used of these often include bar charts, pie charts, and other such graphs that aid in categorizing data and highlighting the differences or similarities between categories. While such simplification is often necessary for effective communication, it can also obscure the full range of complexity of zooarchaeological datasets and the human-environment dynamics they reflect. In this paper, we demonstrate the utility of formal network graphs to capturing the complexity of zooarchaeological datasets and to effectively highlighting the kinds of relationships between contexts, time, and faunal assemblages in which zooarchaeologists are primarily interested. Using a case study from southwestern Florida (USA), we argue that network graphs provide a quick solution to visualizing the structure of zooarchaeological datasets and serve as a useful aid in interpreting patterns that represent fundamental reflections of human-centered ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0295906
JournalPloS one
Issue number12 December
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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