Anthropology, Nov 3rd.docx

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23 Apr 2012
Dating techniques:
Radiocarbon (14 c) dating
- Radioactive isotope or ‘variety’ of carbon which forms in the atmosphere
- Absorbed by plants during photosynthesis
- Absorbed by animsals when they eat plants
- After death, 14c decays at a known rate- its ‘half life’
- 5730 +/- 40 years
- Libby’s calculations were based on a ‘curve of knows’
- Compared egytian tree-ring and historical data to radiocarbon samples
Analysis and interpretation
ANT100, lecture 2, November 3rd, 2011
Data processing
- Cleaning
- Conservation: depends on artifact class
- Cataloguing
Data Organization
- Involves classification: Process by which we assign items to catagories )classes) in a pre-arranged
- Rules determine whether an item belongs or does not belong to a class
- One popular method of classification and analysis is through the use of a typology
- Typology: Classification of artifact `states` based on some criterion or criteria
- Typically, we distinguish between:
- Artifacts, which include itemds made from stone(lithics),clay(ceramics),metal,bone(Faunal) and
plants(e.g baskets, wooden tools)
- And ecofacts, which include faunal remains-animal bones not used for tolls and floral remains-
plant materials not used as tools
- Lithic tools
- Display evidence of reduction
- Can be further subdivided into: chipped or flaked lithic tools, ground stone tools
- Flaked Lithic Tools
- `Flintknapping`- one of the earliest industrial arts
- Emerged with homo habilis some 2.5 mya
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