Anthropology 1020E Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Overgrazing

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The branch of anthropology focusing on understanding people in the past by looking at
the physical remains that they have left behind
What do Archaeologists Really do?
The Reality
Research-driven Archaeology
oAcademic archaeology:
Driven by questions that need answers, funding through grants, fieldwork
is slower and more careful
A lot of time is spent in labs (more so than the field)
Cultural Resource Management
oHappens ahead of development:
Assess the ground before things are built
Mitigating (move it somewhere else due to importance (rarely ever
happens)) or excavating (then the project goes ahead)
oPaid for by the developers of the land
oWork is on a shorter timeframe as developers do not want to wait
oNot enough money or time for analysis once it has been excavated (developers
only pay for the minimum)
Why Does Archaeology Matter?
Often have to make a case for why archaeology matters
Archaeology’s Contributions
Long term perspective
oHelps people to realize that there are various whys to do things
oDiscover how we got to where we are today
oDiscover past mistakes and how to avoid making them again
Social Justice
oPeople often used biased versions of the past to justify inequality in the present
oArchaeology can provide a more balanced version
oHistory often written by the victors, archaeology can tell the stories of the
marginalized groups written out of history
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