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Activity Number: 642
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Thursday, August 7, 2014 : 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Sponsor: IMS
Abstract #310990 View Presentation
Title: Statistics Applied to Anglo-Saxon Measurements and Locations
Author(s): Wilfrid Kendall*+ and Giacomo Zanella
Companies: University of Warwick and University of Warwick
Keywords: Bayesian cluster model ; data association ; matchings problem ; quantogram

An ongoing collaboration with the historian Prof John Blair (University of Oxford) concerns the use of statistical methodology to contribute to historical debate, particularly in the context of the early mediaeval period of Saxon England. Two examples will be discussed: what archaeological evidence can contribute to the question of whether Saxon architects used standard units of measurement (particularly a hypothesized "Saxon Perch" in the regions of Kent, Northumberland, Mercia, and East Anglia), and whether there is geographical evidence for complementary clustering of Saxon settlements. Methods include modifications of the quantogram of D G Kendall, and challenging applications of MCMC. Results include: a preliminary analysis indicating support for the Saxon Perch hypothesis, agreeing with suggestions put forward by historians and supplying error estimates; and weak evidence in favour of complementary clustering of settlements.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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