Data analysis in the afternoon

Some people say the morning is the best time to write, but I like the afternoon.  In the morning I’m too distracted by all the various to-dos that I know are on my list for the day; I find I’m better off getting some of those things done in the morning and then plopping down in front of the computer after lunch. The only problem with this schedule is that it seems many others use afternoons as their errand time.  So while my phone, email, etc tend to be blissfully silent in the morning, in the afternoon, if I need to leave my phone/email on for some reason (or if I just forget to turn them off) it’s a constant stream of interruptions.  So it has been this afternoon.


My plan for the afternoon had originally been to finish up an article on one part of the Navajo project – it’s almost there.  But then I got several emails/phone calls, all about different important matters that don’t take much time to address but which I did need to deal with.  Unfortunately, I don’t deal with distractions at all well while writing; I really need a block of time in which to concentrate.  So I abandoned ship on finishing the article today.  Maybe over the weekend.


Instead, I turned to data and statistics.  The beauty of this kind of work in this situation is that it’s something I can do with interruptions – in fact, I find interruptions to be useful.  I can keep thinking about a data problem in the back of my head while dealing with something else.


So today when interruptions derailed my writing, I turned to my Spanish project.  Earlier this summer, I was in Valencia, Spain, looking at a zooarchaeological collection of leporids (or rabbits) from the site of Cueva de Nerja.  Now, it’s time to take those data and figure out what they mean.  My question in looking at these rabbit bones has to do with how the rabbits were being hunted.  Did the prehistoric inhabitants of Nerja take these on the landscape?  Or did they hunt them using a mass capture technology, such as netting?  The way to answer this question is by looking at the demography of the rabbits in question – are there lots of young rabbits, or mostly older ones?  More males or females?  Are there changing patterns through time, and if so, are those patterns statistically significant?