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ANT100Y1Y Lecture 2.pdf

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ANTH 1120
Ivan Prestano

ANT100Y1Y Outline for ARCHAEOLOGY Lecture 2TOPIC 2THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORDThe archaeological record is the sum of all physical evidence about the pastObjects plus their context2ASITE FORMATION PROCESSESFACTORS WHICH AFFECT THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORD we cannot observe ancient behaviour only the contemporary material remains of behaviournot all behaviour will leave material tracesBecause of intervening cultural and natural processes the archaeological record is notusually a direct reflection of past behaviour Archaeologists must avoid the Pompeii Premise Some Definitions Artifact Any object made or modified by people Ecofact Natural object used or affected by people Feature Nonportable material remains resulting from human activity ega house a fireplace a midden Archaeological site A place where evidence of past human activity is preservedHOW DO ARTIFACTS ENTER THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORD Four stages 1 acquisitioneither direct or through trade 2 manufacturemodification of raw materials 3 use and possibly recyclingleaves traces on artifact spatial relationships 4 deposition entry of the material into the archaeological record i Intentional eg discard into midden burial in cemetery ii Accidental eg lossKEY artifacts can enter the arch record at any point in this processProcesses that Transform the Archaeological Record following depositiondisposalnatural and cultural factors Natural Factorsclimateesp temperature and humidityextreme wet dry or cold preserves organicsbiological eg decay rodents carnivoressoil chemistrycan destroy acid or preserve fossilize
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