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Lecture 2

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Western University
Anthropology 2100
Peter Timmins

Lecture 2 (cont’d) Underwater archaeology • Sometimes conducted on shipwrecks • Excavation is difficult because of the water • Expensive because of the type of equipment used o Suction hoses raise sediments • Very few vessels are raised and so drawings and scales are produced Little Salt Spring, Florida • Natural sink hold that is spring fed • Ppl always throwing garbage into it • b/c no disturbance in water, garbage tends to remain the same Positioning a Plexiglas video square • make 1 m square Video image of a 1m square Mosaic • get a mosaic distribution of the artifacts in each 1m square Flotation: • Technique for recovering small charcoal, seeds, or animal bones for ex. • Inside is a basked that has a screen. There is a spout at the top that directs the water coming out.A bucket hangs out at the end of the spout. Once the barrel is filled with water, dump in soil samples, swoosh it around, all (or most) the organic material will rise to the top and float, and then siphoned up, where it’s then collected. • Light fraction: the stuff that stays at the surface; what floats to the surface. • Those that sink to the bottom is the heavy fraction • Double bucket technique – bottom left pic. – the box with the mesh/net where they shake all the sand out so objects remain. Lecture 3 Artifact stocessing • 1 step – clean the artifacts you excavated. Done easily by washing in water then drying in screen. • If in poor condition, a chemical stabilizer is used to conserve them. Done by museologists. • Once cleaned, they have to sorted and catalogued. Cataloguing involves a number of processes: categorized into artifact types. Information is entered on a computer file. Artifact classification • Classification is used to group certain artifacts • Typology: o Arranged into types = share certain attributes Artifact attributes • For each attribute there can be a number of attribute states o Ex. pottery: if looking at the surface of the pottery, could be smooth, ribbed (created by a ribbed paddle), rough. • Shape or form o Ex. looking at arrowheads or projectile points • Technological attributes o Things like the raw material. o Something else to look at  What stage of the manufact process do they (artifacts) relate to More on artifact type Early paleoindian projectile • They made spear points • They were the first to enter SW Ontario (?) • Gainey type – largest of them all; large basal concavity; basically straight sides • Barnes – similar in form but more leaf shape; concave shape • Crowfield – pentagonal side shape; basal concavity; channel flakes removed; high quality workmanship done; • Therefore, stylistic changes do change through time Artifact spatial distributions • Take the data and map sites • Different types of activities can be discovered by using various artifact distributions Little Shaver Site TheAlder Creek Site • Excavated 1m squares • plotted the distribution • ploughed the site as well • basically, artifact distribution can be critical to the site INTERPRETATION Archaeological interpretation • artifacts don’t tell us anything so we make inferences by using our own understanding Inference from analogy • link things to figure things out regarding the past An Inferred Longhouse… • can infer this is an Iroquoian longhouse site Ethnoarchaeology Types of anologies • 2 basic types of analogies. o Direct historic – some of the strongest analogies because based on correlation of archaeological remains and something that was historically recorded. Depends on the fit between archaeological artifacts and historical data. o GCA– usually stronger if you can demonstrate if ….????????????? Inter Pyramid • Difficulty increases as you go up • CA– looking for inferences about things like the use of symbols, iconography, ideology, what ppl are thinking, customary behaviours, belief system. More difficult to do thi
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