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Chapter 8

Chapter 8 Notes.doc

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Genevieve Dewar

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Chapter 8 Notes Archaeological and Paleanthropological MethodsMost distinctive behavioral features of humans is our elaboration of and dependence on cultureHominin Colloquial term for members of the tribe Hominin which includes all bipedal hominoids back to the divergence from African great apesProtohominin The earliest members of the hominin lineage as yet only poorly represented in the fossil record thus the reconstruction of their structure and behaviour is largely hypotheticalProtohominin may have carried sharp stones pieces of wood etcWe would expect them to display behaviors similar to chimpanzeesPalaeoanthropologyPaleoanthropologist task to recover and interpret clues left behind by homininPalaeoanthropology the study of fossil homininsGeologists work with anthropologist to do initial surveys to locate sitesUsed analysis of aerial and satellite imageryEarly hominins attracted to stones which are easy to find todayFaunal remains help figure out what environment the hominin lived inTaphonomy taphos meaning grave The study of how bones and other materials came to be buried in the earth and preserved as fossils A taphonomist studies the processes of sedimentation the action of streams preservation properties of bone and carnivore disturbance factorsTaphonomy of site must be determined to understand how site formed over time and if its present state is primary or secondary contextContext The environmental setting where an archaeological trace is found A primary context is the setting in which the archaeological trace was originally deposited A secondary context
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