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Midterm Review.docx

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McMaster University
Spencer Pope

Classics IA03: Midterm Exam Review What is Archaeology?  Scientific study of material culture… aka objects used by cultural groups (jewellery, coins)  Excavations most common form of culture Archaeology Methods: 1. Discovery & Retrieval of Artifacts  Excavation from depositions allows us to find chronological relationships between artifacts 2. Interpretation  Identification of object by type; fit into re-established category based on use  Determining date & place of product and maker  Determine role of object within culture most difficult seeing artifact through THEIR eyes Archaeology Field Method: Excavation by Stratigraphy:  Excavation by removal of strata (horizontal layers) of soil  Stratum= a deposition of soil accumulation over time  New topsoil seals earlier deposits  Sealed deposit= archaeological context Stratigraphy= sequence of deposits of strata placed one above the other Principle of Stratigraphy:  Lower strata are more ancient than upper strata used to determine  Stratigraphy used to determine relative date or relative chronology Relative Date vs. Absolute Date:  RD= point of reference is another artifact/ event  AD= date on fixed chronological scale that allows identification known  Ex. Ben arrived Sept 24, 2004 (AD) John arrived before Jack (RD) Scientific Methods of Dating 1. Radiocarbon Dating  Dates anything once living based on known rates of carbon isotopes  Precision it +/- 100 years @ best 2. Tree Ring Dating  Valid only for wood  Precision is +/- 100 years (typically less) 3. Thermo-luminescence Dating  Dates things that’ve been exposed to high temps… like pottery  Interval of time since exposure is measured by emission of photons from crystalline structures  Precision greater than RC dating Typology  Classifying objects into like groups tailed to objects of a similar function  Used to provide a date (R or A) outside of specific excavation context  Allows for understanding of development of artifacts Members of Typology Differences in typography may be based on 1. Development (chronological separation) 2. Style (geographic separation) 3. Value/ status (economic separation) Style= an established set of features that are similar across a set of artifacts usually in a limited geographic range Minoan: Pre- Greek Civilization  Similar characteristics considered to give rise to Greek culture  Lack evidence of Greek language; a diagnostic feature Minoan Palace Architecture 1. Central Courtyards 2. Warehouse/ storage areas 3. Western Entrances 4. Theatrical Areas 5. Pillar Crypt Minoan Architecture  Cut stone blocks; ashlar= rectilinear solid Functioning of Palaces: 1. Political  Monumental, indicating seat of power 2. Economic  Storehouse for redistribution of agricultural goods  Metal smiths and artists 3. Religious  Public in theatrical, & private in pillar crypt ***THEREFORE, PALACES ARE MORE FOR ADMINISTRAIVE PURPOSES THAN ROYAL RESIENCES *** Iconography- study of the subject matter of visual arts = deciphering visual language of the artists Deciphering Ancient Art  Emblem= identifying clues  Scenes or composition is recognizable from myths & tales Thera AKA Santorini  Principal site named Akrotiri  Remains from this site are wood framed windows & doors, houses, and complex designs Conclusions: Minoan Civilization  ECONOMIC: Palaces center of wealth, supported by agricultural land;  Acted as redistribution center of goods  THALASSOCRACY: rule of the sea, control of trade  Military power not in army, but navy  RELIGION: rituals, coming of age rites  Worship of female & fertility ***MINOAN CULTURE IS COTERMINOUS WITH THE RISE OF MYCENEAN CULTURE, BASED ON MAINLAND GREECE*** Mycenaean Architecture:  ME
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