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Lecture 2

ANTH 20633 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Google Earth, Cultural Anthropology, Big Log

9 pages90 viewsFall 2016

Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTH 20633
Professor
David Aftandilian
Lecture
2

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Intro to Archaeology
08/22/2016
Archeology: Study of past human cultures & societies
- Culture: Language, religion, money, traditions. Not limited to humans.
Chapter 2
Artifacts: Objects used, modified, or made by people. Ex: Tools, pottery, etc.
Ecofacts: Organic or environmental remains. Ex: Bones, skeletons.
Features: Non-portale artifats. Ex: sites, hearths, storage pits, tos.
Matrix: Materials surrounding findings like soil, sediment, rocks.
Context: Provenience: Vertical and Horizontal position in matrix.
Association with other findings.
Primary Context: Intact
Secondary Context: Cultural or Natural Formation
Taphonomy: Study of how things were buried and what occurred to them after they got buried.
Cultural Formation vs Natural Formation Processes
Cultural Formation Processes: How people have affected what survives.
Four Steps of Human Behavior (tools, food, etc):
1) Acquisition of raw material
2) Manufacture
3) Use
4) Disposal
Natural Formation Processes: How nature has affected what survives.
Inorganic vs Organic
Inorganic: Survive way better than organic. These include rocks, metals, and clay. These
serve as a main source of evidence since they are preserved so well. Rocks can tell us
about activities while clay pots may contain residue of what was in them. Gold and silver
preserve well but bronze oxidizes.
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Organic: Bones, things that decay. Determined largely by the matrix and the climate.
Preservation of Organic Materials and Climates
Climates: Climates have a huge influence on preservation.
Tropical Climates: Can be destructive because of warm environment, heavy rain, and
humidity. But, they are usually protected from looters.
Temperate Climates: Not too good because of fluctuating rainfall and temperature.
Caves: Natural conservatories for all materials because they are protected from climate
change.
Extreme Conditions (Best)
Dry: aridity/dryness prevents decay because of shortage of water that prevents
microorganisms from forming. Ex: Tombs in Egypt.
Cold: Natural refrigeration can hold processes of decay for years. Ex: Juanita
Waterlogged: When moisture is low, preservation is low. There is bad preservation near
dryland areas. In wetland areas like lakes and swamps good preservation can occur.
Archeological Questions
What problems do archeologists run into?
- Looters/Bottle Collectors
- Time Crunch
- Money Limits
- Toxic Waste
- Dangerous operating in front of heavy equipment.
- Rain
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What kids of evidence can historical archeologists use?
- Written records
- Oral Stories
- Maps
- Tax Records
- Photographs
4 Fields of Anthropology
- Biological anthropology
- Cultural anthropology
- Linguistic anthropology
- Archeology
Locating Archeological Sites and Features: How do archaeologists locate sights?
Ground Survey: Conducted on a ground level
1) Documentary Sources: Documents can reveal locations and contain clues like when
Homer speaks of Troy in the Iliad.
2) Oral Stories
3) Salvage Work: Government is about to perform a road or a tunnel and archaeologists
are asked to survey the area.
4) Surface Survey:
- Requires a region defined either by cultural or natural boundaries.
- Can give information and is cheap, quick, and relatively not destructive.
- Usually deliberately used to investigate specific questions that an excavation
should’t aser suh as speial distriutio ad hua atiities.
- Unsystematic vs Systematic:
o Unsystematic is just walking across an area while scanning the ground and
collecting artifacts on the surface. This method is misleading because
humans are not completely reliable.
o Systematic divides area into grids and each area is walked separately. This
make recording artifacts easier because of the grid.
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