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Theoretical and Methodological Aspects of the Application of Factor Analysis on Archaeological Data

Journal: Povolzhskaya Arkheologiya (The Volga River Region Archaeology) (Vol.4, No. 42)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ; ;

Page : 90-100

Keywords : archaeology; Middle Kama region; 1st –5th centuries; Tarasovo burial ground; burial rite; mathematical model; social reconstruction in archaeology; representation; factor analysis; statistical methods;

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The problem of bringing into line the methods of archaeology with the methods of multidimensional mathematics is considered in the paper. The aim is to test the factor analysis on the archaeological data of the Tarasovo burial ground of the 1st –5th centuries on the Middle Kama, followed by a critical comprehension of the results obtained. Previously, this method was not used to study the social structure of the Kama river region population. Ontological, gnosiological and epistemological aspects of the factor model were identified and described. Interdisciplinary operational concepts of its construction were implemented at different levels. Some social and informative features of a selection of male burials of the 3rd –5th centuries were found, presumably, marking the lifetime social status of persons. An attempt to demonstrate the semiotic ambiguity of these features has been made. The conclusion about its influence on the quality of social interpretation of factors has been made. Some problems related to the search for reasons that reduce the heuristic potential of the factor model have been formulated, as well as the quality and volume of social information in the given epistemological conditions. The structure of the formal text does not cover all the types of interconnections and relations of the social space of the burial as a whole. The interpretation of the obtained factors from the standpoint of sociological and culturological approaches have demonstrated the difficulties of transferring social categories into formalized ones and vice versa. A further perspective of this problem is seen in the foundation of a theory of coordination of the structures of a mathematical model and the subject structures of a social object, taking into account its subject features.

Last modified: 2023-01-25 21:43:34