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130 Terms
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absolute dating

gives an absolute date in calendar years

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Accelerator Mass Spectrometry

A method of radiocarbon dating that counts the proportion of carbon isotopes directly, thereby dramatically reducing the quantity of datable material required.

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alfred kidder

first PhD in North America; famous for excavations at Pecos Pueblo

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anthropological archaeology

the study of human behavior through material remains

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anthropology

Study of the origins and development of people and their societies

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anitquarian

one who collects antiquities, artifacts, that kinda thing

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Archaeobotany/Paleoethnobotany

the study of plant remains from archaeological sites

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archaeological record

all material objects constructed by humans or near-humans revealed by archaeology

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archaeology

study of artifacts and relics of early mankind

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artifact

an object made by a human being, typically an item of cultural or historical interest.

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assemblage

a group of different artifacts found in association with one another, that is, in the same context

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association

objects found near each other in the same context

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australopithecine

genus that lived in the east-central and southern part of Africa between 4.2 and 1 mya.

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australopithicus afarensis (lucy)

smaller than humans, small brain, long arms, small head, big teeth. possibly bipedal

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barrow

tomb built for multiple people

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bipedalism

the ability to walk upright on two legs

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bluestonehenge

stonehenge, but made with bluestones

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box grid excavation

digging a series of square trenches which are separated by preserved vertical sections called baulks

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catalhoyuk

Early urban culture based on sedentary agriculture; located in modern southern Turkey; was larger in population than Jericho, had greater degree of social stratification.

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chauvet cave

This cave is the site of Old Stone Age cave paintings in southeastern France.

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Clarence Bloomfield Moore

really more of a grave robber. floated rivers in his steamboat

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context

The association and relationships between archaeological objects that are in the same place.

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craft specialists (or craft specialization)

individuals involved in part or full-time activities devoted to the production of a specific class of goods, often highly valued

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cultivation

a suite of behaviors involved in managing plant resources, including but not limited to clearing, burning, plowing, selective breeding, planting, and harvesting.

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cultural anthropology

study of variation amongst humans

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cultural resource management

management and assessment of significant cultural resources

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culture history

the what, when, and where events took place. focused on the time and space of past cultures

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culture

A uniquely human means of nonbiological adaptation; a repertoire of learned behaviors for coping with the physical and social environments

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cutmark

trace left on bone by a stone or metal tool used in butchering a carcass; one of the primary forms of evidence for meat-eating by early hominins.

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debitage

a term referring to all the pieces of shatter and flakes produced and not used when stone tools are made

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dendrochronology

The process of counting tree rings to determine the age of a tree

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Dolni Vestonice

place where 900 mammoth remains where found.

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domestication

The taming of wild plants and animals by humans. Plants are farmed and become dependent on humans for propagation; animals are herded and often become dependent on their human caretakers for food and protection.

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Durrington Walls

A site on the Avon River near Stonehenge with three monumental timber circles and evidence of occupation.

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ecofact

plant or animal remains found at an archaeological site

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edge hypothesis

The theory that the need for more food was initially felt at the margins of the natural habitat of the ancestors of domesticated plants and animals; a revised version of the population pressure hypothesis

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egalitarian

A term that refers to societies lacking clearly defined status differences between individuals, except for those due to sex, age, or skill.

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electrical resistivity

The measure of a material's ability to conduct electricity. A material with low resistivity will conduct electricity well.

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elemental analysis

a process where a sample of some material (e.g., soil, waste, minerals, chemical compounds) is analyzed for its elemental and sometimes isotopic composition

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ethnography

The study of human cultures through firsthand observation.

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evolution

The process of change over time resulting from shifting conditions of the physical and cultural environments, involving mechanisms of mutation and natural selection. Human biology and culture evolved during the Late Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, and Holocene.

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feature

An immovable structure or layer, pit, or post in the ground having archaeological significance.

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fieldwork

The search for archaeological sites in the landscape through surveys and excavations.

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flake

A type of stone artifact produced by removing a piece from a core through chipping.

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flint

A fine-grained, crystalline stone that fractures in a regular pattern, producing sharp-edged flakes; highly prized and extensively used for making flaked stone tools.

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flintknapping

The process of making chipped stone artifacts; the striking of stone with a hard or soft hammer.

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garbology

made prominent by William Rathje; basically studying trash

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General Augustus Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers

Britains first inspector of ancient monuments. emphasized that excavation should be systematic and complete

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Geophysical prospecting

ground-based physical sensing techniques used for archaeological imaging or mapping.

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Ground Penetrating Radar

The items that are placed in graves to accompany the deceased.

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half life

A measure of the rate of decay in radioactive materials; half the radioactive material will disappear within the period of one half-life.

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hammerstone

A stone used to knock flakes from cores.

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handaxe

A large, teardrop-shaped stone tool bifacially flaked to a point at one end and a broader base at the other. The characteristic artifact of the Lower Paleolithic; for general-purpose use that continued into the Middle Paleolithic.

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hard-hammer technique

A flintknapping technique for making stone tools by striking one stone, or core, with another stone, or hammer.

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henge

A monument defined by the presence of an enclosure, usually made by a circular ditch and bank system, up to 500 m in diameter. Henges were erected during the Neolithic and early Bronze Age in western Europe.

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hierarchical

A term referring to societies that have a graded order of inequality in ranks, statuses, or decision makers.

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holocene

the most recent stratigraphic unit within the geological record and covers the time interval from 11.7 ka BP until the present day.

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homo erectus

same genus as modern homo sapiens. large brain, small teeth. first to leave africa. bipedal

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homo floriensis

known as 'the Hobbit' due to stature; found in islands in Indonesia

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homo naledi

Recently found Hominid species found in the Rising Star cave system in South Africa. death rituals

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homo sapiens

A species of the creatures Hominid who have larger brains and to which humans belong, dependent of language and usage of tools.

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horizontal excavation

usually follow vertical excavations and expose large areas of ground

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hunter-gatherer

a member of a nomadic group whose food supply depends on hunting animals and collecting plant foods.

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Ian Hodder

Father of Post-Processual Archaeology; Contextual Archaeology; originally a Processualist but not satisfied with the limitations of it; interested in cultures role in shaping human behavior

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In situ

Latin for 'in place.' something undisturbed

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isotope

Atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons

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James Mellaart

Original excavator for Catalhoyuk. University of London

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Laetoli

Location in Tanzania where tracks of australopithecine footprints were found showing that australopithecines walked upright

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Lee Berger

Discovered Australopithecus sediba and Homo naledi

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Lewis Binford

"The Father of New Archaeology." Developed the methodology of utilizing predictive hypotheses in the study of long-term culture change.

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lithic

made of or pertaining to stone

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macrobotanical analysis

provides identification and analysis of plant remains and related services for archaeologists, geologists, and naturalists

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magnetometry

Detecting buried remains through magnetic variations between them and the surrounding soil

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megalith

a large stone that forms a prehistoric monument

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midden

a garbage mound left by prehistoric people

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Mousterian

A term describing the stone tool assemblages of the Neanderthals during the Middle Paleolithic, named after the site of Le Moustier in France

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Natural Habitat Hypothesis

the theory that the earliest domesticates appeared in the area that their wild ancestors inhabited

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neanderthals

Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, a European variant of Homo sapiens that died out about 25,000 years ago.

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negative side effects of agriculture

Dependencies on crop and climate stability

Must be defended

Larger pops require more work to feed

Large pops create lots of waste, sewage, pollution

Negative health outcomes

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Nels Nelson

- Credited with first significant stratigraphic arch in America

- Developed technique of arbitrary levels

- Worked in California bay area

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Neolithic

The period of time of early farmers with domesticated plants and animals, polished stone tools, permanent villages, and often pottery; the New Stone Age

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oasis hypothesis

suggested a circumstance in which plants, animals, and humans would have clustered in confined areas near water

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obsidian sourcing

a method of tracing ancient exchange by finding out where the toolmaking stone came from and seeing what areas it has shown up in

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obsidian

A usually black or banded, hard volcanic glass that displays shiny, curved surfaces when fractured

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