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Lecture 5

lec5 Archaeology.doc

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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANT101H5
Professor
Karen Kus
Semester
Winter

Description
ANT101 Archaeology: Methods for Studying Material Culture Archaeology The study of material remains in order to describe and explain human behavior  (Haviland et al., 2009:11) 3 types of material remains • Environmental • Remains of human activity • Human remains themselves Four Goals Of Archaeology 1.Reconstruct human past across time and space 2.Reconstruct human lifeways * where & when? 3.Explain how and why the past occurred 4.Interpretation of cognitive and symbolic behaviors of the past  Widening Archaeological Applications 1.New Dating Techniques • More accurate dating 2.“New Archaeology” • Redefining archaeological aims 3.Cultural Resource Management • Protection of sites Archaeological Analysis 1.you must recognize things as items used by humans; items that functioned within a  cultural system 2.you must interpret how the items were used or how they functioned in a cultural system 3.you must integrate each symbol in its proper system and environment ARTIFACT • Any object modified by human beings • Express a facet of human culture • Context is important o Primary or secondary TYPOLOGY (Type)  a categorization of artifacts to answer specific questions about a culture ECOFACT Items that become associated with a site through natural processes (give environmental  information) FEATURE Things that cannot be taken back to a lab for analysis  • they are part of the earth  • Moving will alter or destroy them SITE A spatially distinct place that exhibits evidence of human activity Characteristics • Fundamental unit of analysis for an archeologist • Primary unit of association for artifacts • Must be spatially distinct • May be occupied over a period of time A site or ensemble of related sites represents the material remains of a single cultural  system called a COMMUNITY How Do Archaeologists find a Site? Survey Clues • Disturbance by human activity ­  artifacts • Disturbance by natural causes – river banks • Vegetation • Ethnohistorical data • Amateur archaeologists or farmers SYSTEMATIC SURVEY • Walk over an area in regular intervals – record all artifacts • Dig test pits • Aerial photos • Beneath the surface • Proton magnetometer • Electrical resistivity • Ground penetrating radar • Seismic & acoustic • Infrared photography EXCAVATION 1. Grid system 2. Datum point (reference point) 3. Excavation of squares 4. Flotation 5. Soil screening Fieldwork Records 1. Stratigraphic records 2. Location & depth of all artifacts 3. Scale map of all features 4. Photographs and scale drawing of the objects 5. Soil samples In the Laboratory Artifacts Are: 1. Cleaned 2. Catalogued 3. Analyzed in relation to function, environment, activities, diet etc.. 4. Interpretation 5. Written report TWO Approaches Taken By Archaeologists 1.Ethnoarchaeology Observe & study traditional cultures to resolve archaeological problems 2.Experimental  Make or use artifacts to determine their manufacture and function in the past Ethical Issues in Archaeology 1.Conservation Ancient Objects Historical buildings  archaeological sites 2.The Antiquities Trade 3.Indigenous Peoples 4.Gender ARCHAEOLOGY DATING METHODS RELATIVE DATING  ­ involves ordering artifacts into sequences relative to each other 1.Stratigraphy 2.Typological sequencing (Cross dating) 3.Seriation 4.Fluorine, Uranium & Nitrogen Dating (F.U.N.) 5.Palynology (pollen dating) 6.Palentology (faunal dating)/biostratigraphy 1.Stratigraphy The study of stratification Artifacts are deposited into layers – strata Law of Superposition:  • one layer lies on top of the other, so that the layer at
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