Chapter 6 Vocab from the book
• LandscapeArchaeology: Focuses on the distribution of archaeological material across a broad
landscape rather than on a series of individual sites. Viewed as a spatially and temporally
continuous record of human occupation and use.
• Landscape signature:The spatial distribution of archaeological sites left behind reflecting their
pattern of land use.
• Geographic Information Systems: Computer mapping programs in which each variable is
treated as a map layer. By superimposing layers that might include information about
watercourses, topography, soil type, and so on as well as the locations of archaeological sites,
patterns of site location in reference to those environmental variables may become apparent.
• Continuous Variables:Any variable whose expression is a measurement along a continuous
scale. The length of a projectile point, the cranial capacities of ancient human ancestors, the
volume of Egyptian pyramids, and the distance from and archaeological site to the geological
source of a raw material used by the inhabitants of the site are all continuous variables because
they can be measured.
• Discontinuous Variables: Variable whose possible expressions are not measurements but names.
For example, eye color is a discontinuous variable whose most common possible expressions
are brown, blue, and green. Also called nomadic variables.
• Bi-facially: Refers to how a stone flake has been shaped and sharpened.Astone tool may have
two edges, or margins, and two faces. The distance from margin to margin is the width of a
flake, and the distance between its faces is its thickness. When a flake is shaped and sharpened
by percussion and pressure on both faces, it is bifacially flaked.
• Obtrusive:Under the right conditions readily obvious to practically anyone simply walking
about these remains.
• Alluvium: Material deposited by a flooding river.
• Tells:Artificial hill that develops, primarily in the Middle East when sand accumulates around
and over abandoned villages. In some instances subsequent inhabitants of a regi