Interactive eBook Edition of MRES

With its fourth edition, the MRES book makes its first appearance as an interactive ebook. This ebook allows the reader to interact with the book and comes in two different formats, with the first being for Apple iPads and Macs (in the form of an .ibooks file created with Apple’s iBooks Author software) and the second being for other platforms (as a PDF file that includes relative links to interactive objects stored on the reader’s hard drive). Continue reading “Interactive eBook Edition of MRES”

MATLAB-Based Detection of the Orientation of Handaxes

Some archeological sites in East Africa revealed unusual accumulations of Acheulean handaxes, such as in Olorgesailie in Southern Kenya (see photo above) and in Kariandusi in Central Kenya. It has been debated whether these accumulations were a result of fluvial reworking or of in situ deposition by hominins. A MATLAB-based algorithm to automatically determine the orientation of handaxes in excavation plans helps to test the preferred orientation of stone tools as the result of fluvial reworking.

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Sample Size: How Many is Enough?

What is a good sample size? How many replicate measurements do we need to make inferences about a population from the sample? There are scientific articles on this subject, such as the one by H.W. Austin (1983), of which the title of the blog post is borrowed. There is no universal answer to this question. It depends very much on the studied phenomenon and the requirements on the results. Here is a nice example of how MATLAB helps to get a sense of the relationship between sample size and quality of the result.

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