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Introduction to Artifacts Lecture

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Andy Roddick

Introduction Lecture September-03-11 8:38 PM Labs start Thursday Sept 22 in KTH B122 Final exam cumulative but stressing post mid term Definition: Way of seeing and learning about past human cultures through the analysis of material remains in their temporaland spatial context Bruce Trigger Different archaeologies,different histories Classical Archaeology Records, texts Spend a lot of time learning ancient languages PrehistoricArchaeology (Prehistorians)Britain Anthropological Archaeology What is Archaeology? Human Culture Is behaviour (what people do) Is a system of meaning (what people think) Is learned, shared, patterned. Not rational, but rationalizing and dynamic Structures and is structured by human action in the material world Franz Boaz 4 fields of American Anthropology Cultural Linguistics Biological Archaeology Material Remains Physical traces of human action in the world Artifacts: learned and cognitively structures behaviour Patterning = cultural behaviour Archaeologistsreconstruct these patterns to tell (empirically constrained) stories of the past Temporal Context Prehistory? Sites with no written records Ancient history and people without history A static timeless past? Study of cultural change: Diachronic perspectives at macroscale Synchronic perspectiveat a microscale History represents <1% Archaeologistsdeal with the complexitiesof time As a historical science Collect data about momentsor series of events *But no predictive laws Archaeologyand recent history? Historic archaeology:written records Excluded pasts: "people without history" Selective representationof the past Antiquarian Period: 3 radical ideas 3 radical ideas 3 scientific revolutions Developmentof anthropology Social evolutionin anthropology Systematicapproaches There is NOT ONE Anthropological Archaeology ...there is both academic and public (CRM) Academic: justification for research based on research questions and granting agencies Minority Public: cultural resource management field (CRM) Represents >90% of archaeologytoday Preserving prehistory on a day-to-day basis Emic vs Etic Emic: insiders perspective Emphasizes the speakers (or culture member's)understanding of what they do and why What are you doing, why do you think your doing that Etic: outsiders perspective Emphasizes the outside 'scientific' view and explanation for behaviour Christmas: to maintain solidarity, cohesiveness,relieve tensions We use (and fight about) theories Low range theories How do you know thats an artefact not a rock Depositionaltheories High range What was society like in the past What was the economic/politicalassociationlike Middle range How we link stones and bones to social processes Four characteristics of Archaeology Today 1. Multiscalar Both small scale and processes over a large region 2. Mutualistic Human life is about social relationships All places and all times there are social relationships that people maintain 3. Globally Focused Short history, but in this short period of time is has spread globally Wider global significance What it means to be human 4. Reflexive These knowledge's of past are powerful Producing knowledge about the past that can be used in a varietyof ways We dig, find and interpret stuff! This is not just abstract knowledge about societies. It is about discovery,about surprises and about thinking about 'things' lives, societiesand ourselves in new critical ways History of Archaeology Part 1 September-13-11 8:28 AM Our Self-Proclaimedperiods Antiquarian Speculative, exploratory Culture history Charting historical sequences through time Processual/newArchaeology Scientific, 'laws of human behaviour' Post-Processual/ProcessualPlus/Interpretive Antiquarianism: 1500sto 1850 Speculative phase of the discipline Archaeologyis a product of radical intellectualismand cultural developments in Europe during the 16th-18thcenturies (renaissance and Enlightenment) Radical idea 1 Humans are part of NATURE and subject to its LAWs AND CONDITIONS Laws and conditions discoveredthrough rational inquiry Observation,experiment, analogy Radical Idea 2 Material conditions of human existence differ significantly across space and have changed through time Columbus discovering America Riches of material culture Radical Idea 3 Material remains could be used to document material conditions in the past Recognition of a Pre-roman past Nationalist antiquarian societies Cabinets of curiosity were the first museums Recognition of stone tools as human artifacts Stone Henge 1655 - Inigo Jones Roman temple? Couldnt have been built by 'savages' 1687-1765- William Stukeley Built by druids Magnetic north Caught popular attention Emergenceof a discipline Several conceptual and methodologicaladvancementsin the 18th-19th century were critical to the developmentof Archaeology Made possible the systematic study of material remains of past human societiesin their temporal and spatial contexts Usher vs Hutton: The evolution battles begin Usher - 1650 Earth was created in 4004BC based on the bible Hutton Geologist Fond of studying the surface of the earth Recorded everything meticulously Long term slow processesoccurring Catastrophismvs Uniformitarianism Catastrophism Catastrophism All of a sudden Uniformitarianism Over a long period of time Long term processes that are observable Scientific Revolution1: Advances in Geology 18th century applied geology Canals, mines etc. Earth processes are regular, predictable Nicolas Steno - 1699 "Law of Superposition" Lower deposits are older that higher deposits Use of Stratigraphy: Layers of earth laid down successivelyin time The map that changed the world 1801 - William "Strata" Smith Created the first ever regional geological map Scientific Revolution2: Advances in Palaeontology Fossils seen as remains of organisms Evidence for extinct species gradually accepted Specific fossils associated with specific strata - gradual, not catastrophic change through time Scientific Revolution3: The Antiquity of the Human Species Evolution and Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species Association of stone tools with extinct Fauna Discoveryof pre-modern human fossils Neanderthal, Germany Recognition of Stone Tools as Human Artifacts Jacques Boucher de Perthes French Customs inspector Finding stone tools in the Sommevalley around Saint Acheul, France Today known to date from about 450,000-200,000ya Charles Lyell 1859 - British Royal Society creates commissionof expert antiquarians and geologists. Dig another site with undisturbed stratigraphy at Abbeville which confirms it This is the same year that Darwin publishes "On the Origin of Species" The Three Age System Danish archaeologists Thomsen(1836)develops the stone age, bronze age, iron age Worsaae (1850s)tests the three age system based on the law of association in "grave lots" Lubbock (1865) divides the stone are into paleolithic (old) and Neolithic (new) Cultural Evolutionand Social Darwinism Lewis Henry Morgan (1877): Ancient Society Unilinear evolutionaryschemes Claimed that all humans share the capacity to develop an "advanced" culture Advanced culture linked to European ways of life Used in the justification of colonization Developmentof the Field of Anthropology Global and colonial expansionism, the age of discoveryoutside of Europe, emergence of nation states:...all contribute to the recognition of the diversity of the human species
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