Quantum models in archaeology and palaeoclimatology
Cosine quantogram analysis of the unfinished temple at Segesta.
Several different types of archaeological and climate data sets have underlying patterns which are difficult to detect. In archaeology these patterns are the result of human agency behind the design and manufacture of the objects. In ice age climate data sets the repeated patterns are introduced by orbital and solar factors, but this project demonstrates that approximately similar methods can be used to tease out the statistically significant patterns in both manmade objects and environmental data. The project has made use quantum modelling and computer simulations to make substantial new contributions to the knowledge of patterns in ancient architecture and climate proxy data. The complexity of analysing the archaeological data gives insight into studying the very noisy climate data. The monograph on Greek architectural design aims to change how scholars approach the topic: recognising complex patterns in data sets requires expertise both in the field of the study in question and statistical methods, the two cannot be separated.
In the context of the Centre for Archaeo-Architectural Reconstruction the importance of the project is mainly methodological: without correctly recognising the underlying patterns it is not possible to reconstruct the phenomena in question from the partially preserved archaeological data.
The project consists of three separate strands:
1) Analysis of Classical Greek architectural design;
2) Cosine quantogram analysis of Bronze Age weight metrology;
3) Statistical analysis of palaeoclimate proxy records.
The project has been funded by the British Academy in the academic year 2012–13.