2229- January 13, 2014
Archaeology in Context
• What can you learn form bones - tools used, what people ate, rituals with food meat,
bones/ivory/antlers used in tools
• Other disciplines come into play as well such as geography, psychology, biology
• Archaeology is a field that takes a look at how people behave according to our
cultures, all of our intentions and relationships
• Arch. Looks at the things we do and how we think which changes how we do things.
It looks at human practices.
• Ie. Cell phones.. The idea of calling someone in the same grocery store...the strong
obligation to contact someone once they know you have received their contact
• It changes the way your life goes because of changes in expectations
The development of archaeology
• We are influenced by things that we have read and how things are supposed to
function according to ideas such as those within the bible
• For example - the nuclear family - the 'perfect' way to be
• Men must know that they are the biological father of the family or else the children
will be disadvantaged
There are other societies where this is not the case.
The important thing to remember is that archaeologists are always looking at the whole
Audio recording started: 9:50 AM January-13-14
Neolithic - the time when farming started to spread throughout an area
Archaeology is very connected with history.
Jane Goodall in primatology.
Mary and Lewis Leakey were a couple that did a lot of research in a part of Africa where the
geographic layers had moved and exposed many fossils. They did decades of research in
arthopithecus africanus - Laeoli footsteps
Margaret Mead - conducted research on living populations such as the sexual practices of
• How children were treated in Samoan societies
Kinds of Anthropology Anthropoogy: The study of all aspects of humankind - biological, cultural and linguistic,
whether they are extinct or still living (extant). In this way it is a holistic approach where
everything is relevant.
Anthropology = Linguistic, cultural, biological and archaeological.
A sub-discipline of anthropology that views humans as biological organisms: also known as
• Human evolution a major focus. Examined through fossil evidence and primatology.
• Bioarchaeology is the study of past human biological components. Because usually
only the skeletons survive decomposition, these are the main data sources.
• Marky Leakey is an example of this as is Jane Goodall.
Pictorial examples -
a) bones with Harris lines that show times of malnutrition affected bone development arrest.
a. Trephination= an operation that removes a circular section of bone from the
skull .. Often used to relieve headaches or treat mental illness
A SUB-DISCIPLINE OF ANTHROPOLOGY THAT EMPHASIZES NONBIOLOGICAL
ASPECTS: THE LEARNED SOCIAL, LINGUISTIC, TECHNOLOGICALAND FAMILIAL
BEAHAVOIRS OF HUMANS.
a technique for gathering information about people through questioning and observing
people while living among them.
Ethnographer: a person who conducts participant observation. They gather the details of life
among a group of people.
Ethnographies: the written accounts of this type of research.
Ethnographers study how people interact (ie. Child rearing practices), art, religion, societal
structures, any aspect of life that goes on in the present. They may ask how things have
changed in the past but the focus is more on the here and now.
Ethnographies are important because archaeologists cannot talk to some of the people that
they are studying as it may be before things were even documented. Ethnographies can
help us understand how people interact and how this might be applied to people of the past.
Anthropologists who study some aspects of culture may not be applicable to archaeologists
but some like Boaz and Nelson can actually help identify what it is they are finding. When
There are very few hunter/gatherer societies left and they are in marginal areas so it is not
representative of the huge areas that were available for this lifestyle in the past. So we are
our first limitation because we have our own traditional