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ANT100Y1 Lecture Notes - Knapping, Royal International Air Tattoo, Emic And Etic

Course Code
Christopher Watts

of 1
"careful analysis of the environment in which... Materials are found in order to say
something about the circumstances by which that material came to be there" (Paul Bahn)
Circumstances = naturaland human agencies
Cleaning--taking maybe toothbrushes to brush rubble off artifact
May or may not be necessary; depends on the artifact class
Data Processing
Process by which we assign items to categories (classes) in a pre-arranged
Rules determine whether an item belongs or does not belong to a class;
determines the inclusiveness of various classes
Involved classification
Something that allows you to further organize the data
Typology: classification of artifact 'states' based on some criterion or criteria
Example: MacNeish's pottery types and Middleport Oblique pot from Picton,
One popular method of classification and analysis is through the use of typology
Question: Were the artifact types we recognize today also recognized in the past?
Emic: 'insider's view' of culture; the type was recognized by its manufacturer
as meaningful
Etic: 'outsider's view' of culture; the type is only meaningful to the analyst
In other words, are they emic or etic in nature?
Stone (Lithics)
Clay (Ceramics)
Bone (Faunal), and
Plants (e.g., baskets, wooden tools)
Artifacts, which include items made from...
Faunal remains--animal bones not used as tools
Floral remains--plant materials not used as tools
Ecofacts, which include
Typically, we distinguish between:
Data Organization
Display evidence of reduction
Flintknapping--one of the earliest industrial arts
Emerged with Homo habilis some 2.3 MYA
Involved removing flakes from cores in a controlled
Fracture Mechanics and Flake Attributes
Chipped or flaked lithic tools
Can be further subdivided into:
Lithic Tools
Core--the block of raw material from
which flakes are struck
Flake--the relatively thin fragment of
lithic material removed from a core
Debitage--the by-products of core
reduction; includes flakes and
exhausted cores
Produced by pecking, abrading and
polishing macrocrystalline materials
Usually have smooth durable edges and
surfaces (e.g.,/ manos, metates, axes)
Decorative items can also be made from
Groundstone Lithic Tools
Relatively recent invention, ca. last 12, 000 years
Made from the mixture of clay, water, and temper (bonding
agents such as sand or shell) which is then fired
Temper helps to reduce shrinkage and cracking in the fire
Hand-forming (e.g., pinch, coil construction)
Can be divided into the following:
Forming Methods
Interpreting the spatial distributions of artifacts,
features, sites, etc. In an effort to reconstruct past
human action
Trying to understand past human actions
Importance of ethnoarchaeology--modelling
Also known as Settle Archaeology
Crucial part of archaeology
Most popular tool today for getting at spatial patterns
Computer-based system for the input, analysis,
management and output of geo-referenced spatial data
Can perform sophisticated multivariate analyses
GIS (Geographical Information Systems)
Spatial Analysis
Was it autonomous or inter-dependent?
What was the size or scale of the society?
How did they deal with issues of status, gender, ethnicity,
agency, etc.?
How was it organized internally?
Small scale (< 100 people)
Egalitarian; informal leadership
Tend to be highly mobile--temporary camps
Oldest form of social organization
Example: all Palaeolithic societies
Larger than bands (~1000-2000 people)
Some (kin-based) ranking; pan-tribal sodalities--A
ceremonial, political or economic association, often
based on age and sex; Examples: warrior clans,
clubs, and fraternal organizations; people are
related through commonalities
They can grow food and store it
Greater sedentism--farming, herding
Some warfare (raiding); inter-tribal warfare
Example: Neolithic societies; Iroquois
Larger than tribes (~5000-20,000+ people)
Kin-based ranking under hereditary leader
Economy based on tribute/redistribution
Settlement centres--secular and sacred
Chief relies on donations from his people and does
not farm
Examples: NW Coast, Mississippian
Larger than chiefdoms (generally 20, 000+ people)
Class-based hierarchy under king/emperor
Laws, bureaucracy (taxation), standing armies
Cities--palaces, temples, public buildings
Example: All ancient civilizations
State (Pre-Industrial)
One popular model--Service (1962)--useful, but not
Problems: unilinear; 'pigeon-holes'
Two inter-related questions...
Reconstructing Social Systems-How were societies organized?
Use of seasonal vs. Fixed locales
Arrangements of sites across the landscape
Size and internal arrangement of structures
Nature and extent of settlement features
Settlement Patterns/Systems
Internal Organization--Some archaeological indicators
Initial burial; typically fully articulated
Evidence of exhumation and reburial, often as part of a group
Amount of articulation varies
Placement of individuals within burial
Is there spatial evidence of rank, status, etc.
e.g., pyramid, passage tomb
Funerary architecture
Personal affects vs. Status markers
Can also be used to assess economic and ideational organization
Nature and extent of grave goods
Funerary Customs (Burials)
Analysis and Interpretation
6:08 PM