Scott Ortman

Paper #: 12-07-009

A common situation faced by archaeologists is one where the researcher would like to estimate the resident population of a site over the course of its occupation, but all one has to work with is the overall size of its architectural footprint and a tabulation of the various types of pottery found on the surface. In this paper I develop a method for estimating the population histories of archaeological sites in such situations and test this model against the data from San Marcos Pueblo, an ancestral Pueblo settlement in the Galisteo Basin of north-central New Mexico. Results suggest Bayesian probability density analysis has significant potential for the purpose of reconstructing the population histories of archaeological sites.