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arch lecture one

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Marcel Danesi

Lecture 1 ANT100 October 28, 2010 Archaeological Data and Dating N Archaeology is concerned with everyday practises and everyday life. N For example, tools which were used back in the day as well as pots and bone tools. N Archaeological Record o The matrices in which artifacts, ecofacts, sites and other human-manufactured features or results of past human action are found. N Three Typical elements of Archaeological research o Observed materiall culture o Unobserved humannon-human activity o Interpretationexplanation of human activity N Material Evidence o Physical Artifacts Features Ecofacts o Spatial Activity areas Sites Regions N Artifact o Any portable object whose form has been shaped (i.e., manufactured or modified)by way of human activity. Ex. Acheulian Hand Axe from Gilan, Iran N Feature o Nonportable material evidence of human activity (e.g., hearths, storage pits, postholes) N Ecofacts o Non-artifactual material evidence of human activity o Can be further subdivided into Macrofossils and Microfossils. o Macrofossils Visible to the naked eye, e.g. kernel of corn Can be retrieved through flotation or normal excavation procedures. o Microfossils E.g., pollen, phytoligths found in soils or residues adhering to artifacts. Retrieved through mechanical and chemical disaggregation Visible only under high-power magnification, 200x or greater. N Flotation Device o Water separation of soil matrices o Used primarily to recover macrofossils o Lighter materials float to the surface, caught in sieves.
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