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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - Ch. 1, The Doing of Archaeology (Methods)

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Christopher Watts

Lecture 2Ch 1Monday September 19 2011616 PM The Doing of Archaeology Archaeological RecordThe matrices in which artifacts sites and other humanmanufactured features or results of past human action are foundNot necessarily found below ground eg cultural landscapes Example of cultural landscape Chaco Canyon in the northwestern part of New Mexicoextensive interregional exchange 650 km of roads stairways ramps in NW NM ca AD 1100 Three Typical Elements of Archaeological ResearchObserved material culture Unobserved humannonhuman activityInterpretation of human activityeach person can approach a site in a different way political and philosophical differences critical thinking research paper Material EvidencePhysical artifacts features ecofactsSpatial activity areas eg the place where a woman sat down to make a pot sites regions ArtifactAny portable object whose form has been shaped ie manufactured or modified by way of human activity even a stone being thrown against the wall has been modified FeatureNonportable material evidence of human activity eg hearths storage pits postholesExamples Kelly Site Excavation Site Iroquois village in SW Ontario Great Pyramids in Giza EcofactsNonartifactual material evidence of human activityCan be further subdivided into macrofossils and microfossils MacrofossilsVisible to the naked eye eg kernel of cornCan be retrieved through flotation or normal excavation proceduresExample Carbonized maize kernelsFlotation DeviceWater separation of soil matricesUsed primarily to recover macrofossilsLighter materials float to the surface can be skimmed off
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