# Episode 2: Statistical sampling in archaeology

07.04.2014 - By Taking Maths Further Podcast

In this episode we interviewed Alison Atkin from the University of Sheffield about her work as an archaeology PhD student, and how she uses statistical sampling to gather data about victims of the plague. Some interesting links:Alison's BlogAlison’s research page and PhD abstractThe Black Death on Wikipedia Population structure, at GCSE Bitesize GeographySampling, at Revision WorldStride length calculations, from the Open University Puzzle:A field is 6 metres square. Your sampling methodology dictates you should excavate 30% of the field. What would be the side length of a square trench which covers 30% of the area? Solution: The area of a field 6 metres square would be 6 x 6 = 36 square metres. 30% of this area would be 36 x 0.3 = 10.8 square metres, which would be covered by a square trench whose side length is the square root of 10.8. This is approximately 3.29 metres (to the nearest centimetre). Show/Hide