Hodder’s ‘Tanglegram’ as Network

Hodder's fig 9.2 as network
Hodder’s fig 9.2 as network

I am reading Ian Hodder’s book, ‘Entangled: An Archaeology of the Relationship between Humans and Things’ Hodder writes that the tanglegram cannot be represented as a network, since a network doesn’t consider the nature of the relationships or nodes. This is not in fact the case. Representing these complex relationships as a network is quite possible, and allows the ‘tanglegram’ to actually become a object to query in its own right, rather than a suggestive illustration. I’ve uploaded the network data to Figshare:

I used NodeXL to enter the data. If there was a bidirectional tie, I made two entries: A -> B, B -> A. If it was only one way, I entered it with the directionality of the original tanglegram. I saved it as a .net file, opened it in gephi, and ran gephi’s statistics.

This was all rather rough and ready; because I was working from a blown-up photocopy of the original figure, and I’m trying to get ready for a trip, there could be errors. One would need Hodder’s original data to do this properly, but I offer it up here to show that it’s possible, and indeed worthwhile: why else would you bother drawing a tanglegram, if not to use it to help your analysis?

In the image below, I resize the nodes to represent betweenness centrality (which elements of the tanglegram are doing the heavy lifting?) and recolour it according to modularity. Modularity finds five groups (nodes listed in descending order of betweenness centrality):

Group 0: house, groundstone, burial, plaster, figurines, pigment, skins, painting, personal artefacts, animal heads, food storage, human heads, special food, human body parts, burials, storage rooms, bins

Group 1: hoard, chipped stone, sheep, mats, dung, wild animals, fields, bone, cereals, wooden object, weeds.

Group 2: food, hearth, fuel, ash, clay balls, oven, traps, wood

Group 3: clay, baskets, extraction pits, wetland, reeds, birds, dryland, marl, ditches, fish, clean water, landscape, field, eggs

Group 4: midden, dogs, colluvium, mortar, pen, mudbrick

Seems quite suggestive! For the files for yourself, please see:

Hodder’s Figure 9.2, Entangled, as network. Shawn Graham. figshare.

Retrieved 17:47, Mar 19, 2013 (GMT)