There were well over 50 published papers describing the application of
Bayesian statistics to archaeology up to 2004 (see Mike Baxter's
*Statistics in Archaeology* for an very full list). The majority of the techniques
described are not readily available to the archaeological community at
large because of the problem of implementing them in suitable software.
The exception is, of course, many of the methods applied to radiocarbon
dating, which are implemented in BCal, OxCal and other software. This webpage
aims to help fill the gap by supplying code for OpenBUGS (formerly WinBUGS) implementations of
archaeological problems.

OpenBUGS is freely available software for the constructing Bayesian statistical models and evaluating them using Markov-Chain Monte-Carlo (MCMC) methods. Details are provided on the OpenBUGS Project web pages. OpenBUGS provides an ideal platform for implementing many of the Bayesian methods for archaeology. If you are an archaeologist who can write simple programs and understand the mathematics of the papers, and are prepared to learn enough about MCMC to check that the output is reliable, then this is for you. If you are a statistician looking for interesting problems then this is also for you.

To use the models supplied here you will need to download and install
OpenBUGS, and read the manual and some of the references in it to
comprehend MCMC methods. For a general introduction to MCMC I would
recommend Gilks WR, Richardson S & Spiegelhalter DJ (Eds.)
(1996) *Markov chain Monte Carlo in Practice* Chapman & Hall,
London. For a very wide ranging discussion of Bayesian modelling with
worked examples in WinBUGS see Congdon P (2001) *Bayesian Statistical
Modelling. *Wiley, Chichester.

Most of the files are worked examples from the literature. I would be grateful for any comments or suggestions to improve the models given here. Contributions of new models are also welcome.

Download the files by right clicking and selecting your browser's download or equivalent option. The titles link to odc file suitable for WinBUGS or OpenBUGS, and there are also text versions suitable for import into JAGS.

Links to:

List of models by publication |
List of models by topic |

Buck, C.E., Cavanagh, W.G.
and Litton, C.D. 1996: *Bayesian Approach to Interpreting Archaeological
Data*. Chichester: Wiley.

Section 7.3 Simple disease
incidence (text version)

Section 7.4 Consumerland
revisited (text version)

Section 9.2 Simple radiocarbon
calibration (text version)

Section
9.4 Radiocarbon calibration - Case Study I - St Veit-Klinglberg,
Austria - stratification (text version)

Section 9.5 Radiocarbon
calibration - Case Study II - Jama River Valley Ecuador (text version)

Section 9.6 Radiocarbon
calibration - Case Study III - Stolford, England - wiggle matching (text version)

Section 9.7 Radiocarbon
calibration - Case Study IV - Kastanas, Greece - wiggle matching (text version)

Section 9.8 Radiocarbon
calibration - Case Study V - The Chancay culture of Peru (text version)

Buck, C.E., Litton, C.D. and Stephens, D.A. 1993: Detecting a change
in the shape of a prehistoric corbelled tomb. *Statistician* **42**
483-490.

Corbels.odc (text version)

Buck, C.E., Litton, C.D. and Shennan, S.J. 1994: A case study in
combining
radiocarbon and archaeological information: the early Bronze-Age settlement
of St. Veit-Klinglberg, Land Salzburg, Austria. *Germania* **2**
427-447.

St Veit-Klinglberg (text version)

Christen, J.A., Clymo,
R.S. and Litton, C.D. 1995: A Bayesian approach to the use of ^{14}C
dates in the estimation of the age of peat. *Radiocarbon* **37**
431-442.

peat.odc (text version)

Christen, J.A. and Litton,
C.D. 1995: A Bayesian approach to wiggle-matching. *Journal of Archaeological
Science* **22** 719-725.

Stolford Log
- tree-ring wiggle matching (text version)

Kastanas, Greece - archaeological
wiggle matching (text version)

Christen JA & Nicholls G (2000) Random walk radiocarbon
calibration. Technical Report #457, Mathematics Department, University of
Auckland, New Zealand.

available as a gzipped
postscript file from Geoff Nicholls'
website.

Christen-Nicholls.odc (text version)

Zeidler, J.A., Buck, C.E. and Litton, C.D. 1998: The integration of
archaeological phase information and radiocarbon results from the Jama
River Valley, Ecuador: a Bayesian approach. *Latin American
Antiquity* **9** 160-179.

Jama River Valley (text version)

Corbelled tomb changepoint (text version)

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This page created 25 September 2001. Last updated 16 May 2013.

© Andrew Millard 2013