Statistical analyses cannot be divorced from archaeological theory: A reply to Potter (2012)


Potter criticizes our experimental study of the roles played by indirect bias and guided variation in shaping prehistoric Great Basin projectile point variation. His criticisms are technically correct from the standpoint of statistical convention, but he fails to understand the theoretical rationale of our study. Without such an understanding, his assertion that our conclusions are questionable is incorrect. Here we point out again (1) how our experimental work bridges the gap between cultural-transmission theory and the empirical record and (2) why our conclusions are indeed valid.

American Antiquity 77, 372–375.