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Anthropology 1020E - Archaeology (All notes)

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Anthropology 1020E
Bruce Hammond

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Archaeology- 1 week st 3/18/2013 7:34:00 AM  archaeology: study of material culture  tells us about ways they lived  how they differ from other cultures  difficult to read sometimes because we are not part of the same ingroup CASE STUDIES Bank’s Island/Sak’s Harbour  stones hold down the skin tent  whale bones form superstructure  entrance dug out to keep cold air out  driftwood and skins used to make boats  exploited materials from abandoned ship What Do Archaeologists Do? Archaeology  research-driven archaeology  slow, methodical  spend time outside doing physical work  analyzed in the lab  cultural resource management  developers pay for archaeological excavations  less time and energy for post-excavation analysis Why Does Archaeology Matter?  provides a long term perspective o case study: Norse Greenland  Norse suddenly left Greenland after many years  foraging hay for domestic animals was difficult on ecology  massive soil erosion  selective feeding: wouldn’t eat abundant sources of food and relied on domestic animals instead  ivory  social justice o case study: Myth of the Moundbuilders  historical connections to local Native American groups  people didn’t believe that Native Americans were “smart enough” to build the mounds o case study: Nazi Archaeology  “evidence” of Germanic culture; “rightfully” taking back land that belonged to the Germans o case study: The Slave Experience  tell stories of non-victors  despite horrible conditions, able to maintain some cultural traditions, eg. architect, food o community/indigenous archaeology  field work increasingly involving local community  applied archaeology o case study: Sea Otter Reintroduction  zooarchaeological research working towards wildlife conservation  extirpation: local extinction of animals  reintroduction of sea otters to BC successful but not in California due to variety of subspecies o case study: Reviving Raised Field Agriculture  excavations reveal construction techniques  techniques allow for yearly farming Responsibilities of Archaeologists  accountability: consultation & education  special relationship between Indigenous ancestors  stewardship: protect & conserve  avoid commodification of archaeological group— don’t want to give things market values; dilutes sites  preserve excavated goods Ethical Issues in Archaeology  access to human remains and sacred objects in colonial contexts o case study: Kennewick Man— skeleton discovered on a river in Washington State in 1991  remains first thought to be recent, discovered to be 9300 BP (before present)  60 years old, 5’ 7”, 160lb; strong right arm and strong legs; arrowhead embedded in right hip; fractured skull, fractured ribs; traits of teeth similar to Native Americans  named a Caucasoid: pointy nose, narrow face, high round eyebrow ridges  claims to have ownership of skeleton— NAGPRA (Native American Graces Protection and Repatriation Act) invoked: Native American groups should control remains of their ancestors; non Native Americans claimed importance of Kennewick man to humanity  high marine protein— lived near coast, but found inland  looting and the antiquities trade  lose spatial location of artifacts o case study: Maya sites in Mesoamerica  many holes dug out  subsistence looting: helps them make a living when they don’t have many other options  destruction of antiquities during international conflict or by political regimes o case study: National Museum of Iraq, Bagdad  severely looted severely in 2003 during Iraq war o case study: Bamiyan buddahs, Afghanistan  Taliban blew up buddahs  heritage tourism and conservation  foot traffic can be damaging to sites o case study: Newgrange in Dublin  astronomical alignment to mark solstice  designated a UN World Heritage Site  stone carvings slowly worn away by tourists Archaeology- 2 nd week 3/18/2013 7:34:00 AM What Can Things Tell Us About People?  context is everything o case study: safety pins  used to be used as diaper fasteners  material culture associated with babies used by women in 70s  people who still use it nowadays make a conscious decision to, frequent with men and with women  symbol of counter/punk movement in Britain  depends on how, where, who is using it  same object can be used for different functions— depends on what you find it with  context: temporal and spatial setting of an archaeological find, comprised of its: i. matrix: particular material in which object is buried ii. provenience: individual object’s vertical and horizontal position within matrix  usually measured against a fixed point, datum iii. association(s): other archaeological remains with which something occurs What are the Main Categories of Archaeological Evidence?  evidence found on archaeological sites: any location containing physical evidence of past human activity in the form of: i. artifacts: any portable object made, modified, or used by people o eg. arrowheads, pottery ii. features: non-portable artifacts o eg. a ditch, stones used to hold down tents iii. ecofacts: non-artifactual environmental remains with relevance to our understanding of past human activity o eg. food remains  cultural landscapes: combined works of nature and humankind that express a long and intimate relationship between peoples and their natural environment  case study: Saoyú-?ehdacho, Satu people travelling Great Bear Lake Why Do Archaeologists Dig Square Holes?  helps record spatial information during process of excavation  profile: vertical wall created  stratigraphy: layers (strata) of soil and other material that compose an archaeological site  natural strata: naturally occurring layers  cultural strata: food waste, debris  Law of Superposition: where one stratum overlies another, the lower one was deposited first Excavation  proceeds stratigraphically  choice of tools depends on nature of site Recording  during excavation:  archaeologist record 3D provenience using a datum (arbitrary point) and grid How do Archaeologists Link Old Things with Past People Hawkes’ Ladder of Inference  things towards bottom of ladder easier to understand than top  Top Spiritual Life (ideology) Communal Organization (social and political institutions) Subsistence-Economics (acquisition of necessities of life) Techniques of Production (methods of manufacture)  Bottom  looking at the different categories can help us learn about them Middle Range Theory (Lewis Binford)  uses analogical reasoning 1. Ethnographic Analogy  similarities between living groups and patterns observed in archaeological record  case study: ceramics on a particular community— styles particular to each group have same patterns; persists over generations 2. Ethnoarchaeology  study the use of material culture in living cultures o case study: Nunamuit— spatial distribution of caribou remains, tools used o case study: mobile hunting group— drop zone (artifacts dropped) vs. toss zone (artifacts tossed) 3. Experimental Archaeology  recreate artifacts and features o case study: Butser Ancient Farm, England— reconstructed Iron Age roundhouses; discovered bottom parts of posts rotted away: weight of roofs only thing holding down the house What Can Things Tell Us About People?  materials reveal where people lived, where they travelled, where raw materials came from o sourcing studies: applied to obsidian, metals, marine shell, animal bone, coral o case study: Catamarca province: pull resources from resource- heavy sites  decoration may reveal culture/cultural tradition  how old is it  when they existed  Relative Dating Techniques: place objects in chronological order o stratigraphy o seriation: based on the idea that style changes over through time— frequency chronology as well  Absolute Dating Techniques: provides exact age of an object o radiocarbon dating: uses carbon-14 half-life— only works on organic remains o dendrochronology: tree ring dating  how was it made?  manufacturing process, generational knowledge transmission, innovation and change  coil built, wheel thrown/faked stone, ground stone  case study: southern Baffin Island, Nunavut— chirt raw material; young people brought to interior  case estudy: Palaeoeskimo endblades from NFL  determine how tool was used  typology and analogy  microwear analysis: using magnifying glass to inform  residue analysis Organization of artifacts by…  raw material  function  shape  time (with organic materials) Week 3 3/18/2013 7:34:00 AM Essay Tips  “references cited”  give specific archaeological evidence, not an explanation Why do Archaeologists Keep Old Bones and Seeds? (ecofacts)  help reconstruct the environment  reveals diet and subsistence strategies  determine whether domestic foods or otherwise  gives a sense of season of occupation (species available only during particular seasons)  reconstruct past social organization and ritual activities ECOFACT RECOVERY Screening  sifting through mesh screen  higher recovery  slows down Flotation  pour sample of sediment into a tank and run water through it o plant remains float to surface o dirt sinks and is picked through after  for small samples  time consuming Plant Remains  studied by paleobotanists  microfossils: too small to be seen with naked eye o pollen— different shapes specific to different plants o phytoliths: silica structures in cell walls of plant tissue  macrofossils: readily visible to naked eye o seeds— usually charred (preserves more easily) o charcoal Animal Remains  studied by zooarchaeologists  bones  teeth— preserve the best  antler  shell insects  modern reference recollection Using Ecofacts to Reconstruct Past Environments  certain species reside in certain environments  assumption: species lived in same environmental conditions in the past that they do in the present  pollen diagrams: track changes in relative abundance of species  animals— indicator species— small, less mobile species are sensitive indicators— use relative abundancy o land snails often used o small land scares (microfauna) How do Archeologists use Ecofacts to Reconstruct Diet?  diet: range of food eaten  subsistence: how the food was gathered Subsistence Strategies  foraging/hunting & gathering o most commonly employed o reliance on wild species o mobile o live in small communities o emphasis on sharing o lacks formal leadership o gendered division of labor (men: hunt, women: gather)  pastorialism  rely heavily on reindeer herds  rely on secondary products— less on meat, more on milk, wool  mobile  small communities  dependent on herds  different from hunt & gather: more remains of one species  horticulture— slash & burn/swidden: release all nutrients into soil, use soil until all nutrients gone  higher food yields  semi-sedentary villages: occupied for parts of year and relocation for parts of year to exploit wild resources o garden hunting: wild animals attracted to garden plots  higher population densities  beginnings of social differentiation  agriculture: use same field  allows permanent settlements  requires larger labor force  surplus food production (even compared to horticulturalists)  craft specialization  higher population densities  complex political organization  differences in wealth and power within communites  raised field agricultures  stay year round What des it All Mean  artificial selection: humans control breeding of plants ad animals for certain traits  large seeds faster than small seeds  thinner seed coat  reduced seed dispersals Animals  change in size  population structure  changes in bone structures  geographic disruption Changes in Population Structure  domestication generally makes animals smaller Seasons of Occupation  important for: o hunter/gathererer and pastorialist sites o short-term special purpose camps used by horticultural/agricultural groups  identified using:  presence of seasonally available resources o fruits/nuts in the summer o migratory species o complicated by environmental change/food storage and transport  age of death using young animals: effective only for species with restricted birthing season  ability to determine precise age decreases with age  many wild and domestic species have restricted birthing seasons o deer o sheep/goats o cattle o pigs  using tooth eruption: dental stages of development sequential  calculation: season of birth + age at death = season of death  complicated by variation amongst individuals, environmental change and food storage & transport How do Archaeologists use Ecofacts to Reconstruct Social Organization?  underlying principle: people of different statuses have different access to food resources o case study: Arbeia Roman Fort, South Shields, England (ca. 230-300 AD)  food of the Barracks: cow, sheep, pig, sometimes wild birds  food of the Commandant: red deer, horse, domestic birds (hen, goose), hunted species (duck, eagle, hare) o case study: Old Sacramento, California (19 th century)  important port where ships unloaded goods  food rankings: city jail at bottom  Golden Eagle hotel at top o most neck eaten at city jail, most short loin at Golden Eagle  short rib a common stew How do Archaeologists Use Ecofacts to Understand Ideology and Ritual? o case study: Thule Inuit Tool Manufacture  ivory (walrus, whale) harpoon heads used at sea  antler projectile points used on land  taboo: sewing land mammal skin at sea offends sea spirits = do not come when you are hunting o possibly what causes the use of sea material at sea, land materials on land o case study: Dorchester  Feature 365 next to sweat lodge— puberty rites  bears played an important role: skulls found with deliberate placement o case study: Gallinazo Group, Viru Valley, Peru  characterized by large, central mounds  once had walls built on it = early city  Sector H: broken up mammal bones (camelids, seas mammals) and small fishs  Sector A: peanuts, chili peppers, corn cobs o higher status— deers used to establish this o more rituals ISOTOPES  different forms of the same element  based on relative abundance, reconstruct environmental conditions and diet  to reconstruct environment:  stable isotopes: o oxygen— temperature and precipitation  case study: Maya Collapse (800-900 AD) o due to drought  to reconstruct diet:  stable isotopes: o carbon  types of plants  marine vs. terrestrial protein o nitrogen  tropic level (place on food chain)  inves
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