ANTH 201 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Bamyan, Taphonomy, Mudbrick

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8 Aug 2016
Department
Course
Tuesday September 16th 2014
-Link between lecture and readings- textbook is the basics and guideline.Understan
d the history and people in archaeology.- understand how archaeologists frame
archaeological concepts differently. Lecture is most important.
-Translate texts in your own language, pay attention to names and themes. Build
references
-find underlying argument
-remember name and approximetly when he lived and his school of thought and
important things he said. (different theoretical schools)
-mudbrick mentions Binford: procestual archeologists
-keep the terms for different schools of thought- post processtual (example)
-think of themes when you read certain readings.
-Link things from beginning of the semester to the end. (selective reading)
-Broader understanding, be able to frame things and how other people frame things.
-
Site Formation Processes
-Methods involved. Came out of processtualist archaeology and things
that were not working in it.
-Hypothetical deductive methodology and approach: very systematic
and scientific, reconstructing things of ancient life.
-Problem: always remained the gap between the archaeological record
and the hypotheses. Never possible to prove or account for every
hypothesis. Binford tried to address this with middle range theory.
MTR: Adresses main problem of the hypothetico-deductive a[rpach=
The gap between theories(hypotheses) and archaeological material on
the other.
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-Provides a functionalist approach.(Binford)- assumed record was
static, too scientific, not enough interest in things that fall out of the
rules and historical depth.
-Michael Schiffer: Interested in how archaeological records form.
Functionalist theory about how society works. Had criticism of Binford,
that he regarded the record as too static.
-Robert Ascher(1961): The Pompeii premise is the erroneous
notion,often implicit in archaeological literature. They think everything
in the society got frozen at a specific moment in time. Archaeologists dig
up the remains of a once living community stopped, as it were at a point
in time.
“Pompeii Premise”
-Archaeological context is assued to be static
-Formed at a specific moment in time
-All artifacts belonging to this context date to same time period
-The context has not been altered since
Pompei premise: How archaeological record formed only is one way.
-Explanations regarding rules and law-like processes.
“Schiffer”
-Reconstructing it as an active process. Things could have been altered
before you found it. Understanding the range and number of objects
found so he could properly recounstruct it.
-He assumed it was active(the record)
-He makes a distinction between natural and unnatural processes that
transform a archaeological record.
-Schiffer came up with(Critic of Binford/ Built on his work aswell):
-C transformations:
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1)Cultural processes-everything humans do to objects(unnatural)
2)E.G: Discard of objects, loss of objects, recycling and reuse,
destruction, damage, etc.
-Non-universal Processes: Transformations the depend on variable
specific to a given time/ place. Takes the context into account. We must
take interpretive leaps.
-N Transformations(Natural)
1)Natural Processes
2) E.G: effects of climate(esp. cold, heat, but also effects of arid vs. humid
climate); erosion etc.
-Universal Pattern: Transformations that take the same form,
independent from specific place/time.When it happens, it usually
follows the same pattern. Once you take other things in to account it
becomes time specific.
-Always about being in a specific time and space. Every place is unique
since history does not repeat itself.
-Distinction between cultural and natural processes:
universal patterns that could happen. (always take the same form, no
matter where you are. Certain things always work the same way and
have the same effect on an archaeological record ex. Gravity.)
-Often the case for natural transformations.
-Distinction between primary and secondary context:
1)Primary: Where an object gets first deposited and becomes part of the
archaeological record. Still looking and sitting the way it did when it was
first put.
Ex. Pompeii or when somebody is walking and throws away a pot.(if
somebody walks by the pot 100 years later and picks it up and reuses
it,and puts it somewhere else. It will be in its secondary context)
2)Secondary: Context in which objects that have been discarded in the
past are reused. The primary context has been altered.
-Alternative Terminology:
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