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Detailed Lecture Notes Chapter 8

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Heather Miller

Chapter 8 Lecture Paleoanthropology and Archaeology  Paleoanthropology is the study of ancient human ancestors, specifically hominins  Multidisciplinary approach o Lot of different disciplines  Process o Surveys, explanations, lab work  Reconstruct Human Ancestor Behavior & Ecology o Similar used in archaeology  Methods: o Dating  deal with such large time tables o Environment  hominins lived in as we get a lot of ideas of how they lived and adapted o Taphonomy  how materials came to be buried and were later disturbed o Anatomy/biology of hominins o Behavior/ Culture  bones of other animals that might have been food  Vs. archaeology Archaeology and Archaeological Research Methods Difference  Paleoanthropologists study hominins before Homo sapiens are sapiens  Archaeology online study us, our species Definition  Archaeology = the study of the human past through material remains  Focusing on stuff that is left  We’ve developed a lot of sophisticated methods  We look at a very broken representation of the past  European Archaeology = often associated with “Golden Age” o Focus on the history o Example Greece  North American archaeology = developed from the interest of the indigenous people of north America o Heavily associated with Ethnology and less with history Research Objectives  To describe that past o Who, when, where (specifics)  To analyze and reconstruct past life ways o What (behavior)  To explain past events and directions o How, why (trends, causes) Research Design (Scientific Method)  Collect background information o Generation of hypotheses  Create research design o Formulation of hypotheses  Field and lab research, analysis o Testing  Conclusions, publication o Disprove/support Data Gathering (1)Survey  To find out what is there (to do excavation)  To gather landscape information (2)Excavation  Large scale work  diggings  Small scale work  brushes, tools (3)Collections and Archives  Understanding that when you dig up a site, you destroy it and its gone  Meaning you have to record everything you find because if you don’t record any context, that preservation is gone  You have to reserve your field notes for future use  Based on existing sites that were excavated long time ago, but their data still exists Terms: (see Glossary and Chapter 8 definitions)  Sites o A place where significant human activity can be identified o Example, burial ground, culturally modified tree  Art
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