Anthropology 2230F/G Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Palimpsest, Salix Herbacea, Lewis Binford

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Published on 11 May 2013
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Lecture 2 Important Themes in Arctic Archaeology
Hunter-Gatherer Mobility
o Makes up vast majority of archaeological record
o More hunting than gathering
o Lewis Binford
Two ends of mobility strategies:
1. Residential Mobility
Called ‘foragers’
All about moving your residence until resources are
exhausted
Adopted by people who live in areas where resources
are abundant and well spaced on the landscape
2. Logistical Mobility
Called ‘collectors’
Fewer residential moves, spend longer at a given
place
Send out task groups to exploit resources and are
brought back to central base camp
Move residence based on seasons, etc.
Caching and food storage
Not always either residential or logistical, usually tend
towards logistical
Dating in the Arctic
o Radiocarbon Dating (see notes from Principles of Archaeology)
o Difference between calibrated and uncalibrated radiocarbon dates
o Why problematic in Arctic context?
Marine Reservoir Effect
Different proportions of C12 to C14 in marine
environments compared to terrestrial landscapes
o More C14 in marine environments, and
consequently animals
Difficult to calibrate, varies throughout the ocean
Driftwood
Used for tents, tools, etc.
Can drift in ocean/river for long periods of time before
use; can give too old a date
Be careful what kind of wood it is
Usually only use dwarf willow for dating
Slow/Non Soil Development
Cannot use superposition to determine different
periods of occupations
o Called palimpsest
Technological vs. Cultural Change
o Does change in one always mean change in the other?
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Document Summary

Lecture 2 important themes in arctic archaeology. Hunter-gatherer mobility: makes up vast majority of archaeological record, more hunting than gathering, lewis binford. All about moving your residence until resources are exhausted. Adopted by people who live in areas where resources are abundant and well spaced on the landscape. Fewer residential moves, spend longer at a given place. Send out task groups to exploit resources and are brought back to central base camp. Not always either residential or logistical, usually tend. Different proportions of c12 to c14 in marine environments compared to terrestrial landscapes: more c14 in marine environments, and consequently animals. Difficult to calibrate, varies throughout the ocean. Can drift in ocean/river for long periods of time before use; can give too old a date. Be careful what kind of wood it is. Usually only use dwarf willow for dating. Cannot use superposition to determine different periods of occupations: called palimpsest. E. g. change in modern music players from cassette players.

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