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Lecture 3

ANT201H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Radiocarbon Dating, Neutron Activation Analysis, Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

Course Code
David Smith

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Dendroclimatology- Tree rings used to determine past
Dendrochronology- tree rings dating for wood
paleoethnobotany/archaeobotany- reconstuctioning
the biological environment
Plant remains
Used for paleo diet
Pollen and microfossils of plants are examined
Categories of plant remains and data retrieving
approaches (lab, eld, otation, etc.)
*** macro botanical remains
visible to the naked eye, but often magnied
between 10-100
-Extracted from the eld, using otation to
-Chance of survival in record, very little
-Decay sooner than animal remains
-Charred or great preservation is needed
Flotation: systematic retrieval if micro botanical
*** micro botanical remains
-only visible under microscope
-Found in soil, tools of harvest, vessels, and teeth
-Pollen, phytolith, diatom, starch
***- plant impressions
do not need good preservation

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impression of plant found in pottery, buildings,
bricks, &oors
Zooarchaeology- animal remains examined
Reconstruct paleo diet
Categories of animal remains and data retrieving
approaches (lab, eld, otation, etc.)
Macro faunal – vertebrates (large animals)
Micro faunal- birds, sh, worms, insects
How do you collect micro faunal remains, what
does it show?
-Dry/wet screening
-Shows habitat, vegetation and seasonality
Bio archaeology- Joint biological and cultural study of
human remains to reconstruct and interpret human
environmental archaeology- the natural environment,
and humans as an integral part of; includes:
-geological (landforms)
-plants and animals
-built/ artifacts
Ethnographic: material/non-material aspects of a living
ethno archaeology- ethnographic studies designed to
aid archaeological interpretations.
experimental archaeology

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subsistence- the means of supporting life, acquisition
of food and other basic resources for survival.
catchment analysis- the study of recovered materials
from a site, how much e3ort was necessary to procure
them, how did it a3ect settlement patterns
carrying capacity: number of organisms an
environment can support
provenance- the place of origin or earliest known
history of something.
CRM- cultural resource management
applied archaeology- occurs when the information gleaned
from a particular dig site could be used to aid modern society.
Those practicing applied archeology most often study ancient
technologies pertaining to architecture and agriculture.
archaeological culture: what are these all about,
Direct dating vs. indirect dating
Direct dating : uses analysis of the artifact, Eco fact or
feature itself to arrive at its age
Indirect dating: uses analysis of material associated with
the artifact, ecofact, or feature being studied to evaluate
its age
Relative dating vs. absolute dating
Relative dating: age of one item in relation to another
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