Analysis and Interpretation

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9 Feb 2011
November 4th, 2010.
Analysis and Interpretation
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
Circumstance = natural and human agencies
First…Data Processing
-May or may not be necessary; depends on the artifact
Then…Data Organization
Involves classification
-Process by which we assign items to categories (classes) in a pre-arranged system
-Rules determine whether an item belongs or does not belong to a class
Data Organization
One popular method of classification & analysis is through the use of a typology
-Typology: classification of artifacts ‘states’ based on some criterion or criteria
Question: Were the artifact types we recognized today also recognized in the
In other words are they emic or etic in nature?
-Emic – ‘insiders view’ of culture; the type was recognized by its manufacturer as
-Etic – ‘outsiders view’ of culture; the type is only meaningful to the analyst
Typically, we distinguish between:
Artifacts, which include items made from
-Stone (Lithics)
-Clay (Ceramics)
-Bones (Faunal), and
-Plants (e.g. baskets, wooden tools)
Ecofacts, which include
-Faunal remains – animal bones not used as tools
-Floral remains – plant materials not used as tools
Finally…Analysis (Artifacts)
-Lithics Tools
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