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Lecture

ANT - L07 [Oct 28 2010]


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANT100Y1
Professor
Christopher Watts

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Oct 28
L07 ± Archaeology (1)
Provenience (provenance)
x Provides us with a way of recording that physical dimension
o Helps provide context
o The physical location of something in that three dimensional space
x Physical location in three dimensional space
x Site level:
o Grid system
x Regional level:
o Map coordinates
o Settlement features (e.g., roads, towns)
x Provenience comes at different scales
Site Formation Processes
x Affected by:
x Human agencies
o E.g., curating / discard of objects
o 3HRSOHGRQ¶WGLVFDUGDOOWKHLUWRROVHYHU\Wime they leave a site so the
composition of the site is not complete; we only have what they do discard
o Materials were brought to a central area (in this case a midden) for
deposition (garbage)
3HRSOHGRQ¶WGLVFDUGWKLQJVZKHUHWKH\ZHUHPDGHWKH\WDNHWKem
to what is essentially a garbage dump (in this case a midden)
7KLVDOWHUVWKHVLWH¶VFRPSRVLWLRQWKLVLVDKXPDQDJHQF\
o
x Natural agencies
o E.g., soil composition, environment, temperature, disturbance by animals
(taphonomic processes)
o Ex. Flooding of a site at some point in time changes the composition of
the site
o ([$QLPDOVFDUU\LQJWKLQJVDZD\IURPDVLWHFKDQJHVWKHVLWH¶V
composition
Finding Archaeological Sites
x In many cases, archaeological sites are found by accident
x Field Methods
o Surface Techniques
Field walking
x Used to survey ploughed areas, very efficient
x Many sites have been found in this fashion
Test pitting
x Used to survey areas that cannot be examined by other
methods
x Involves screening the soils and looking for artifacts
x Very arduous and time consuming task
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