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Anthropology 1020E Lecture Notes - Lewis Binford, Aerial Photography, Processual Archaeology

Course Code
ANTH 1020E
Alexis Dolphin

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Lecture 6
January 24/2013
Chapter 8
Archeology: Archeological Methods
Early archeology: more about treasure hunting
Aesthetic value
Context of little importance
Indigenous peoples
Thomas Jefferson: excavated mounds- (1743-1829)
Excavation: one of the first people to excavate an ancient site and do it systamitcally
o Study of the sequential layering of deposits
Research question
o Went into the research about mounds, about what happened, thought through
excavation- minimize damage
o Lots of layers:
o At this time archeology started growing, lots of people began to and then were
able to compare and ask question
Processual Archeaeology
Lewis Binford (1931-2011)
New archeology(1960s)
Untapped potential of archeological evidence
Archeological reasoning made explicit
Make generalisations about causes of social changes
o And this being able to pull things together on the context of social change
Postprocessual Archeology (1980s-present)
Rejects the search for universal laws
Rejects scientific methods and objectivity
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o For example: an ancient artwork: yu can have a scientific approach for the
interpretation or can make a symbolic interpretation (more post-processual)
Culture drives change:
o trying to apply universal laws wont work because every culture is different and unique
Archeology as unavoidably political
o There maybe multiple truths- they all have different perspective
o How you interpet, if you can excavate, etc... all depends on politics
Bruce trigger (1937-2006)
o Famous Canadian archeology
o Questioned processual archeology
Archeology Now
Scientific method
Complicated relationship between fact and theory
Role of individual
o Rather than a whole culture
o Want to know how life was like as an individual living in that area
Includes role of symbols and ideology
Diversity: more diverse people of different cultures etc... involved
Ethics: ethical concerns are taken more into consideration, more complicated
Portable objects used, modified or made by people in the past
Stone tools/lithics
Trade beads
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Non-portable evidence of human activity
Fire hearths
Post holes
Garbage pits
The spatial and temporal associations between artifacts and/or features
Important to understand how they deal spatial: does one of the objects came from an earlier or
later time period
Gathering the data:
Site survey
Process of discovering the location of archaeological sites
Walkover survey
Teams of walkers
Parallel transects
Mark locations of all finds
Remote Sensing:
Photographic and geophysical technique used to identitfy sites
Aerial photography
Soil resistivity: putting probes into the ground, and electric , try to pick up objects image
Ground-penetrating radar