How to Make Battleship Curves

…the old-school way, with paperclips. David Hurst Thomas illustrates:

“Seriation diagrams were once constructed by hand (literally). Frequencies of temporal types were converted to percentages, then drawn on individual strips, which were then moved up or down until they approximated a series of battleship-shaped curves (Ford, 1962: fig.8). This tedious and subjective procedure has since been replaced by computer programs.”

David Hurst Thomas 2008, Addressing Variability in the Pooled Radiocarbon Record of St. Catherines Island, in Native American Landscapes of St. Catherines Island, Georgia. II The Data. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History No. 88. Figure 16.9.

previously posted on Adequacy.