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Lecture

Anthropology 2100 Lecture Notes - Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, The Strongest, Issf 10 Meter Air Rifle


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTH 2100
Professor
Peter Timmins

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Sept, 24, 2012
Procedures of Archaeology - Part 2
Artifact Processing:
-Artifact stabilization is done by specialists called museologists to keep broken items in formation because they are
taken out of the ground and cleaning is done just with water and letting them dry
-Cataloguing puts artifacts into artifact types and this is also done according to the provenience of the artifact and
typically this information is entered into a data base and this is a tool used in the analysis of the collection
-Date entry into a computer file where a catalogue can be used as a basic research tool and you can sort data in
many ways (by provenience, by artifact type, raw material, etc)
Artifact Classification:
-We don’t want to have to describe every artifact in detail so we group them and classification aids artifact
description and artifact type is a class of artifacts defined by a consistent cluttering of attributes
-Types show stylistic change over time which is very useful and we use them to get an idea of the age of the site
-Types we use are made up by modern people and do not reflect the way the people who made the artifact
thought about them
-Typology is a list of artifact types for a particular archaeological context and constructing typology involved the
systematic arrangement of material culture into types and specific typologies may be created for certain artifact
classes and time periods which are used to facilitate comparison among assemblages
-For example early Paleoindian projectile points which have been grouped into types that changed quickly over
time and we see the move from harshly chipped points to more leaf shaped points with much less chipping (all
have consistent basal concavity)
Artifact Attributes:
-An artifact attribute is a particular characteristic of an artifact and you can examine surface attributes (decoration,
colour, etc), shape or form (dimensions, outline, etc), and technological attributes (raw material, manufacturing
process, etc)
Artifact Spatial Distributions:
-Show the spatial organization of artifacts within the site and can map different artifact classes separately or
together and they also identify activity areas (ex: flintknapping, animal butchering, etc)
-Diagnostic artifacts show characteristic of specific cultures/time periods and this analysis is crucial to site
interpretation and we can get this information from a catalogue but much is now on GIS database mapping the site
-Looking at the types of artifacts can indicate if the site was a multi-occupation site
Alder Creek Site:
-A multi component site near Kitchener with multiple occupations but not stratigraphic layers because of the
ploughing
Archaeological Interpretation:
-Archaeologists have to be clear about where their interpretations come from because the sites don’t tell us
anything and we have to make inferences about them
-Artifacts are static and they don’t tell us anything directly so we use our understanding of site formation
processes (both human behavioural processes and natural processes) to make inferences
-Archaeologists draw upon anthropology, history, geology, geography, and other disciplines
Inference from Analogy:
-Most archaeological inferences involve a correlation between the archaeological data and human behaviour or
natural processes that contributed to the formation of the data and an analogy is a process of reasoning between
parallel cases and we draw analogies form many sources like from experiments
Types of Analogy:
-The strongest analogies are those in which both sides share causal factors and direct historic analogy is the
strongest kind and is between archaeological remains and the historical record
-General comparative analogies are between archaeological remains and cultures that are not historically related
and they are usually stronger if the groups are practicing a similar way of life in a similar environment
Ethnoarchaeology:
-Archaeological studies of living societies building analogies to support archaeological inferences
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