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Archaeology-Chapter 2-Uncovering the Past-Tools and Techniques Oct 23 2008

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University of Toronto St. George
Marcel Danesi

Reading Notes 10-23-08 Archaeology: pgs. 7-9 O Historical Archaeology: a specialty within archaeology that studies the material remains of recent peoples who left written records O Culture: the set of learned behaviours, beliefs, attitudes, values, and ideals, that are characteristic of a particular society or population O Ethnology: the study of how and why recent cultures differ and are similar Chapter 2: Uncovering The Past- Tools and Techniques O Provenience: the location of an artifact or feature within a site O Material Culture: objects people have and make Site Formation Process O Site Formation Process: environmental and cultural factors that affect how and where materials are deposited at an archaeological site or fossil locale O Midden : a pile of refuse, often shells, in an archaeological site O Material Culture: functional, social, aesthetic purposes Locating Sites O Archaeological Site: areas of past human habitation or where fossil remains are found O Fossil Locales: places where fossilized remains of once living organisms are found Fossilization O Fossilization the process of becoming a fossil by the replacement of organic materials with an inorganic mineral matrix O Takes more than 10,000 years What Can We Learn From Fossils? O From bones and teeth: body structure, diet, period the organism died, what climate and habitat were like Taphonomy O Taphonomy: the study of changes that occur to organisms or objects after being buried or deposited (the science of burial) Finding Archaeological Sites O Site can range from small campsite- large city O Some sites may be clearly identifiable (ex: Great Pyramids) or go unnoticeable for long periods O Many discovered accidentally, or deliberate search Site Prospection Surface Techniques O Surface Techniques: include; field walking, field surveying, O Patiently walk and survey surface of a location for signs of artifacts or surface irregularities that may indicate structures O Aerial photography, satellite imaging O Not most efficient means of locating sites Subsurface Techniques O Subsurface Techniques: archaeological surveying techniques that map features beneath the
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