Anthropology 2229F/G Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Cryoturbation

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Published on 18 Jul 2012
School
Western University
Department
Anthropology
Course
Anthropology 2229F/G
Lecture 12 Part 2 Formation of the Archaeological Record
2. Natural Formation Processes
o Affect the record after humans are done with it
o Three main sets of natural processes
1. Physical
Geologic processes that effect what you recover in sites
E.g. erosion, cryoturbation (freezing and thawing, major
problem in the arctic), glaciation, eolian (wind-blowing
processes; causes deflated sites), earthquakes, volcanic
eruptions (e.g. Pompeii)
Effect what you find
2. Biological Processes
E.g. rodents, earthworms, scavengers, trees (fallen
trees, roots, etc.)
The older the site, the more its subject to biological
processes
3. Chemical Processes
E.g. acidic soils (destroys organic artifacts), corrosion of
metals, oxidization, etc.
Need to develop means of interpreting objects past all the processes that act
against the archaeological record, need to link things together (theories,
techniques)
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Document Summary

Lecture 12 part 2 formation of the archaeological record. Natural formation processes: affect the record after humans are done with it, three main sets of natural processes. Geologic processes that effect what you recover in sites. E. g. erosion, cryoturbation (freezing and thawing, major problem in the arctic), glaciation, eolian (wind-blowing processes; causes deflated sites), earthquakes, volcanic eruptions (e. g. pompeii) E. g. rodents, earthworms, scavengers, trees (fallen trees, roots, etc. ) The older the site, the more its subject to biological processes. E. g. acidic soils (destroys organic artifacts), corrosion of metals, oxidization, etc.

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