Assessing contemporaneity and uncertainty in the Yambol province datasets

Adela Sobotkova

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In this chapter, Dewar’s model is applied to Yambol dataset of the Tundzha Regional Archaeology Project (TRAP) to estimate the number of contemporaneous sites and habitations, and their mean occupation span. While correcting the raw survey data, I assess the impact of restricting analysis to functionally certain sites (habitations), and the Yambol results are compared with those from Kazanlak (see Chapter 9). After the application of Dewar’s model, the Early Iron Age peak in site counts is revised downwards, and the Roman period emerges as the apex of long-term settlement development. The low number of Late Iron Age habitations makes the period impossible to evaluate. Functional uncertainty has a mild impact on the data. Excluding sites that have an uncertain function, and thereby restricting analysis to the habitation dataset, leads to lower estimates of contemporaneous settlements but longer occupation-span averages than is the case in the unrestricted site dataset. Long-term trends in settlement dynamics remain the same, however, across both datasets. Yambol results are consistent with the corrected datasets in Kazanlak, although settlement evolution in Kazanlak inflects around the Late Iron Age rather than the Roman period. Despite abundant contemporaneous sites, the dynamics of the Late Iron Age in Kazanlak were unsettled and in flux, with communities moving more frequently than in Yambol.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Tundzha Regional Archaeology Project
Subtitle of host publicationSurface Survey, Palaeoecology, and Associated Studies in Central and Southeast Bulgaria, 2009-2015 Final Report
EditorsShawn Ross, Adela Sobotkova, Georgi Nekhrizov, Julia Tzvetkova, Simon Connor
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxbow Books
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781789250541
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

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  • occupation span
  • Dewar
  • contemporaneity
  • temporal resolution
  • synchronic analysis
  • settlement patterns


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