Chris Carleton


Supervisor: Dr. Mark Collard

MA: Anthropology (Trent University)

B.A. Hon.: Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology (University of Saskatchewan)

Ph.D. Research

My research is primarily methodological. I am currently interested in time series analysis as it applies to understanding human–climate dynamics in the archaeological record.

Master’s Thesis:

Collapse of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic ‘B’ in Southwest Asia,” Department of Anthropology, Trent University, 2010

In an effort to explore the nature of the end of the Late Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (ca. late 9th millennium cal. BP), four major categories of archaeological data from Çatalhöyük, located in south-central Turkey, and a reconstruction of palaeoenvironmental global climatic conditions, were modelled using statistical and analytical techniques. The archaeological data was considered to be proxy evidence for latent complex cultural systems, and those latent structures were identified within the dataset using Principle Axis Factoring (PAF). PAF was used successfully for modelling the architectural, lithic, and faunal datasets. A single vector of the botanical dataset was selected for modelling based on an examination of that data, which revealed that much of the information within the dataset could be captured by one vector alone. In order to make use of the palaeoclimatic data, Time Series Analysis was used to decompose the signal in the data into its constituents so that the important trends in the data could be isolated. Each of the latent systems constructed with the PAF model, and the vector of proxy data from the botanical dataset, were interpreted from the perspective of Evolutionary Archaeology and Complexity Theory. This research demonstrates that archaeological data can serve as a proxy for extinct, latent cultural systems and that synchronicity between various socionatural and cultural systems can be quantitatively demonstrated. This indicates that there is potential for retrodictive hypothesis testing given data from the archaeological record. 

Journal Publications:

Carleton, W., Conolly, J., and Iannone, G. 2012 A Locally-Adaptive Model of Archaeological Potential (LAMAP). J. Arch. Sci. 39(11):3371–3385.

Carleton, W., Conolly, J., and Collard, M. 2013 Corporate kin-groups, social memory, and “history houses”? A quantitative test of recent reconstructions of social organization and building function at Çatalhöyük during the PPNB. J. Arch. Sci. 40(4):1816–1822.