Chapter Abstracts

Below is a list of chapter abstracts:


Lessons from Modelling Neolithic Farming Practice: Methods of Elimination
Amy Bogaard
Major models of early farming in central Europe can be distinguished by three ecological variables that also have important social implications. These models and variables can be arranged like the taxa and identification criteria in a dichotomous key, such that unlikely models are eliminated in a step-wise fashion, leaving a single, plausible answer. This system was applied by assembling weed survey data from present-day farming regimes or agricultural experiments to represent each model, and by framing comparisons between modern and archaeobotanical weed data using weed functional attribute measurements. By eliminating three farming models, the conclusion was reached that a form of small-scale intensive farming was plausible. The potentials and limitations of this approach are discussed as an instance of ‘inference to the best explanation’.