Exploring the social use of space using principles of relativity.

Milner, E., 2008. Exploring the social use of space using principles of relativity. Masters Thesis (Masters). Bournemouth University.

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Abstract

This thesis applies a new application for old scientific principles based on a philosophical extension of Einstein's theory of relativity for Space-Time. With Einstein's physics, space and time are relative to the observer. Comparisons of house floors by relativity is achieved with a mathematically based procedure that places a universal point of observation within all structures based upon the centroid of the structure itself. The data is transformed so that all structures can be placed upon the same axial alignment and sampled for spatial correlations by Principal Components Analysis (PCA), relative to each structure's space. A further method Selective Centric Morphology (SCM) created for this study, places the point of observation as that relative for archaeological interpretations. In this study, the centre of the hearth acts as a centre of social activity and all space is transformed around this point of observation. This enables the ability to apply statistical tests that can be linked to spatial distributions, to compare known quantities against archaeological examples, and to directly make intersite comparisons beyond an anecdotal level. A test case, Kilpheder House 500, has archaeological distributions of objects related to food storage (pottery) and preparation (flint or unbumt bone) within house floors tested against models of longhouses and round/wheel houses to determine group membership. The longhouses tested against were formed from twelve expert models and a synthesis Cognitive Model. The round/wheel houses tested against were Black Patch (East Sussex, England), Catpund (Shetland, Scotland), Sollas (North Uist, Scotland), Stenness House 1, 3, 6 and 10 (Orkney, Scotland). This thesis found that with transformations by both relativity and SCM, the strongest correlations for Kilpheder House 500 were with the longhouse expert models and has a likely group membership with longhouses. In this study, mathematical transformations allowed intersite cases to be examined directly against each other. The transformation of space into a universal framework will offer archaeologists the ability to make precise mathematical comparisons between relative spaces. This not only offers the ability to make comparisons of multi-dimensional data-sets as a means of understanding the social use of space in archaeologically recovered buildings but can be applied to any area with clear boundaries where spatial comparisons can aid interpretation. Future work may make it possible to determine archaeological taxonomic memberships with these methods.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Subjects:History > Archaeology
Group:School of Applied Sciences
ID Code:16248
Deposited By:Mrs Jill Burns
Deposited On:22 Sep 2010 16:26
Last Modified:07 Mar 2013 15:37

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