Chapter 3: What is Archaeology?
Pleistocene: The geologic period lasting from about 1.9 million years to about 10,000 years ago, essentially
the “Ige Ages”
Prehistoric Archaeology: The archaeology before written records from any time and any place
Historical Archaeology: The archaeology of literate societies, primarily those of the recent past; often refers to the
remains of European cultures outside of Europe
Classical Archaeology: The archaeology of “classic” states, such as Greece and Rome, in the area of the Mediterranean
Sea and surrounding regions.
Maritime Archaeology: The branch of archaeology that deals with any archaeological materials related to the marine
Archaeological Record: The record of past human behavior, the material remains of past human activities distributed in
patterns across the landscape and in varying degrees of condition.
Ecofact: The unmodified remains of biological materials used by, or related to the activities of, people,
such as discarded animal bone or charcoal from hearth fires or natural pollen in an
Feature: A non-portable thing constructed by humans for some task, such as a hearth, road, or dam.
Site: A geographic locality where there is some evidence of past human activity, such as artifacts or
Archaeological Culture: An archaeological entity defined by a pattern of common traits, thought to possibly represent a
past cultural group.
Locus: A distinct place defined within a site, such as a cemetery, public square, or ceramic-