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Department of Archaeology

Monday, 6 June, 2022 - 16:00 to 17:30
Event speaker: 
Joseph Lewis

The modelling of land routes using least-cost path analysis is now commonplace within archaeology. More recently, a shift has occurred from predicting unknown routes based on assumptions of optimality to the fitting of movement models for explaining known routes. Whilst these models have been applied to a variety of case studies in different regions and time periods, its application is inconsistent between studies which has resulted in limited comparability. This is made more difficult by the presence of alternative cost functions, the lack of a systematic approach on how to incorporate and parameterise multiple cost factors, and the often-subjective nature of how goodness-of-fit is evaluated.

Here, I present a new philosophical and methodological framework that can be used when aiming to explain land routes. Within this framework, cost factor and cost function values can be computationally inferred from known routes; cost functions can be simplified to their substantial assumptions; and the necessary goodnes-of-fit of a model can be stated a priori, forming the foundation for model assessment. The framework will be used to explain a selection of Roman roads in Roman Britain.

Learn more about Joseph Lewis here.

For online attendance, please register here.

You will receive the Zoom link approximately two hours before the event.

Event location: 
Hybrid: Seminar Room from the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and online
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