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ANT203 - January 10 2012.pdf

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Xueda Song

Dating chapter 10Paleoprimatologist a person who specializes in the study of the nonhuman primate fossil recordPaleoanthropologist a person who specializes in the study of ancient humans a multidisciplinary endeavour including geologists archaeologists physical anthropologists and paleoecologistsInterpreting fossil remains1Geological knowledgerelative dating stratigraphy paleoenvironments plantanimal fossils2Absolute Dating techniques carbon uranium KAr3Statistical analysis application of computerized phylogenetic techniques ie to determine clades number of branches on evolutionary tree4Broad knowledge of primates and mammals from biophysics to socioecology to interpret functional anatomy and behaviour 5Knowledge of other sciences biochem molecular biology genetics sedimentology geophysics zoology ecology etcTaphonomy the study of the process of sedimentation and formation of a site and whether materials are in primaryor secondarycontext Includes the process that occurs with an organism after its deathContext the environmental setting where an archaeological trace is foundPrimary context the setting in which the archaeological trace was originally depositedSecondary context one in which the specimen has been moved such as by the action of a stream Taphonomic processes and diagenesis must consider soil pHdrainage water geology weathering sun wind roots animal and insect activity bioturbation subsequent human activity lootingDating methods placing sites and fossils into a time frameRelative dating whether an object is older or younger than other objectsstratigraphythe law of superposition states that a lower stratum layer is older than a higher stratumdrawback disturbances shift strata and objects making it difficult to reconstruct historybiostratigraphy aka faunal correlationcomparing faunal remains to those from other sites with known datesdates when fossil pigs elephants antelopes were present can be used to cross check the other dating methodsflourine analysisapplied to bones to assess the amount of flourine in ground water incorporated during fossilization the longer the time the more
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