16. Sampling, Research Designs, and the Archaeological Record

  1. Todd L. VanPool and
  2. Robert D. Leonard

Published Online: 20 APR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444390155.ch16

Quantitative Analysis in Archaeology

Quantitative Analysis in Archaeology

How to Cite

VanPool, T. L. and Leonard, R. D. (2010) Sampling, Research Designs, and the Archaeological Record, in Quantitative Analysis in Archaeology, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444390155.ch16

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 APR 2011
  2. Published Print: 22 NOV 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405189514

Online ISBN: 9781444390155



  • sampling, research designs and archaeological records;
  • samples, central to materials - sample statistics, estimating parameters, as population means, regression coefficients and standard deviations;
  • sampling, basic form - using information, making inferences about whole population;
  • chemical sourcing analysis - using Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA);
  • selecting arbitrary samples - about 30 largest artifacts;
  • random numbers, generated using computers - need for carefulness with this method;
  • random sample taking, sampling with replacement - or without replacement;
  • sampling with replacement, common in ethnology - archaeologists and physical anthropologists sampling without replacement;
  • arbitrary samples, archaeologist having knowledge - about underlying sources of variation;
  • larger samples, better representations - of underlying populations


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • How to Select a Sample

  • How Big a Sample is Necessary?

  • Some Concluding Thoughts