UW Madison Antrho 212 Midterm

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Abbeville Gravels

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114 Terms

1

Abbeville Gravels

  • Boucher de Perthes found artifacts of remains of the past.

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Tiwanaku

an important pre-columbian archaeological site in western bolivia, south america.

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Reese River Valley

mining boom town

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Yuchanyan Cave

This site in northern China has evidence for the earliest known pottery at 16,350 to 13,480 cal BC and early use of rice, although it is not clear whether rice is wild or domesticated.

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Xianrendong Cave

  • at this site, the earliest pottery known anywhere in the world was found using radiocarbon dating.

  • bears evidence of early rice cultivation

  • believed pottery was used for cooling

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6

Anthropology

The study of what makes us human

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Subfields of Anthropology

Archaeology - The human past, long term social change Biological - Evolution of biological bodies Cultural - Living people and cultural diversity Linguistic - Language

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Archaeology

The study of human societies through tie using material culture, biological remains and environmental data. Primarily focuses on the past and long term social change

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Culture

How to be/act/interact within a society (rules and norms of behavior)

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10

Ethnographic Method

Method in which one partakes in interviewing, observing and even participating

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Archaeological Method

Using material culture to reconstruct events and practices in the past

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Ethnoarchaeology

Studying the practices of living people to answer the questions about past societies. Aids in reconstructing ancient ways of life.

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Artifact

Objects made, used, modified and discarded by humans

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Ecofact

Unmodified organic materials resulting from human behaviors

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Features

Elements of the archaeological landscape that generally cannot be moved and are best recorded in situ (in place).

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Site

Any place where traces of human activity are found

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Region

Area containing related sites

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Antiquarianism

An aficionado of things of the past. Sees artifacts as "relics" and "curiosities"

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Uniformitarianism

The laws of nature are constant and the geological processes that alter the earth are uniform through time

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Law of Superposition

Layers (strata) are deposited in a sequence with the oldest stratum at the bottom and the youngest at the top

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Stratigraphy

Study of Strata or Layers

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Stratigraphic Association

If two objects are in the same stratum, the will come from similar time periods

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Theory

Evolving intellectual frameworks (set of ideas) through which we can interpret archaeological evidence and construct the past

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Data

Empirical Observations - Things you can see, touch and measure. Data are not self evident, Data are collected and not generated.

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Culture History

Categorizing cultures based on styles of artifacts

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Processual Archaeology

Called the "New Archaeology" in the 1960's. Is concerned with processes like "How?" and "Why?". Applies the scientific method to seek universal patterns and laws. Considers human societies to be adaptive systems, assumes objectivity.

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Post Processual Archaeology

1980's. Believed that societies are not adaptive systems but have unique histories, it does not seek universal patterns, concerned with processes and history. Applies the scientific method but not exclusively, assumes subjectivity.

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Scientific Method

Research Question Hypothesis Test Expectations--no conclusion, support or refute.

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Cultural Formation Processes

Buildings, Burying/Caching, Cultivating, Traveling, Abandonment, Looting

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Natural Formation Processes

Fire, Erosion, Flooding, Sediment Deposition, Bioturbation, Plants/Roots, Rodent Burrowing, Earthworm Activity

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Archaeological tactics

  1. Excavation

  2. Survey

  3. Experimentation

  4. Material Analysis

  5. Skeletal Remains

  6. Textual Evidence

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Survey

Study of archaeological landscapes. Examines the spatial distribution of sites and features, documents land use, results in a map of ancient and modern features, study artifacts on the surface.

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Survey Methods

  1. Simple or Systematic Reconnaissance

  2. Instrumental: Record features using various technologies like handheld GPS

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Purposive Sample

Using personal hypothesis to choose an area to excavate - introduces bias

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Simple Random Sample

Randomly picking which areas will be excavated, allows for a statistically representative and accurate sample

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Stratified Random Sample

Stratifying sites into different areas or categories and employing random sampling within each area. Combines purposive and simple random sample.

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37

Absolute Dating

Calendar years/ ago (m.y.a., K years BP, BC/AD, BCE/CE). Directly dating an artifact or ecofact, and directly dating the context. Usually estimated within a range. More expensive than seriation.

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Relative Dating

Before/After (stratigraphy, seriation)

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Seriation

Putting things into a series

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40

Stylistic Seriation

Seriating items via style

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Frequency Seriation

Seriating items via frequency. Based on changing proportions over time.

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42

Absolute Dating Methods for Organics

  1. Dendrochronology

  2. Radiocarbon or C14 Dating Organics 40,000 years or younger

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Absolute Dating Methods for Inorganics

  1. Obsidian Hydration Dating

  2. Radio-potassium Dating Volcanic stone 500,000 years or older

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Dendrochronology

"Tree ring dating"... Trees gain a ring each year, size of the rings varies due to the weather

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45

Radiocarbon Dating

Dates organic material 40,000 years and younger. Used for: seeds, bone, shells, charcoal, wood, leather, peat, excrement, eggs and more. After something dies it stops taking in C14, C14 dating therefore shows when the organic material "died".

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46

Balk

Area not excavated

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Excavation

Test pits used to locate features and obtain samples of artifacts from across a site. Pits vary in size but are typically measured with the "shovel test"... 1 by 1 m... etc

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Extensive Excavation

Extending the site horizontally to expose architecture or activity areas.

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Stains

Changes in color and texture of the dirt. Can determine things about architecture. Can also indicate burials and/or postholes

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Remote Sensing

A variety of instrumental techniques for studying archaeological sites and features before or without excavating. Any method that records features of the site from a distance, for example from the sky or the ground. Aerial imagery, Drones etc

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Geophysical Survey

The use of detector instruments on the ground to investigate buried features such as: Structure walls, foundations, roads, graves, voids, burnt areas and canals. Conventionally used for locating things to excavate, but can be a source of primary data

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Magnetometry

Detects distortions in the alignment of features with earth's magnetic field (i.e. archaeological features with enhanced magnetic susceptibility.

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Rocks with Magnetic Properties

Hematite, Magentite

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54

Naturally Enhanced Magnetism

  1. Heating/Burning (Thermochemical magnetism)

  2. Incorporation of pottery, bricks, or metals into the soil

  3. In waste heaps, microbes convert weakly magnetic oxides to more magnetic forms (microbially Mediated Magnetism)

  4. "Magnetotactic bacteria" that have magnetite in their bodies.

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Culturally Enhanced Magnetism

  1. Moving materials that are inherently more magnetic, such as igneous rocks.

  2. Moving magnetically enhanced sediment

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56

Gradiometer

Or magnometer is run over the surface in systematic transects to detect anomalies in the ground within 2 meters.

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57

Flint Knapping

A subtractive production technique for lithics

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58

Debitage

Waster Material

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Ground Stone Tools

Formed by pecking, grinding and polishing. Examples include: Mano and Metate, basalte, granite, and rhyolite. Can be used for grinding flour. Valued heirlooms.

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Chipped Stone Tools

Made by knapping. Projectile points - spears, darts, arrows. Cutting tools - knives, scrapers, perforators. Clovis points.

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Fracture Mechanics

How lithic materials break. Good raw materials will break predictably and have few impurities.

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Chert

(Flint). Cryptocrystalline quartz

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Nodule

Unworked piece, has a cortex.

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Core

Prepared piece from which flakes are removed. Cores can be made into tools OR the flakes can be made into tools.

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Hard Hammers

Hammerstone. Basalt, Granite, and Quarts. Control is more important than force.

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Soft Hammers

Provide greater control, produces thinner flakes. Antler, bone and hardwood.

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Approaches to Ceramics

  1. Function

  2. Style

  3. Composition

  4. Haptic/Sensory

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aerial survey

an important technique, primarily employing aerial and satellite imagery, used in the discovery and recording of archaeological sites

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Bioturbation

disturbance of the archaeological record from plant and animal activities such as root growth or animal digging

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70

Bog Bodies

human cadaver that has been naturally mummified in a peat bog

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bulb of percussion

A partial cone of fracture that is seen on the inner surface of flakes as a slightly rounded protrusion or bulb.

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Ceramic Analysis

Any of various techniques used to study artifacts made from fired clay to obtain archaeological data

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clovis points

an elongated stone point with a fluted base that is accepted by many archaeologists as representing the earliest tradition of tool making in North America. Most points of this type date from around 11,000 years ago

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Core

the stone from which other pieces or flakes are removed. core tools are shapes by the removal of flakes.

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flake

A type of stone artifact produced by removing a piece from a core by chipping or knapping. flakes are made into a variety of different kinds of tools or used for their sharp edges.

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Ethnocentrism

evaluation of other cultures according to preconceptions originating in the standards and customs of one's own culture.

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Experimental archaeology

modern experiments to reproduce artifacts, architecture, and/or techniques from the past

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Flintknapping

Chipping or flaking stone to make tools and other artifacts.

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79

Ground Penetrating Radar

an instrument that sends radar waves through the ground to reveal buried features

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80

Hertzian Cone

Name for the bulb of force produced in fracture of cryptocrystalline materials.

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Hypothesis

an idea or suggestion for explaining an observation

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In Situ

in its original place

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83

Indirect Punch Method

A technique which involves striking a punch-like object with a hammer. The tip of the punch is rested on the platform of the core at the point intended to receive the blow.

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84

Magnetic Survey

A geophysical method to image anomalies in the earth's magnetic field caused by source bodies within the sub-surface.

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Mahattan Project

code name for the project to build the first atomic bomb during WWII

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86

mano

a ground stone tool used with a metate to process or grind food by hand.

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metate

a flat or slightly hollowed oblong stone on which materials such as grain and cocoa are ground using a smaller stone.

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material culture

tangible, surviving evidence of human activities

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89

old wood problem

A potential problem with radiocarbon (or tree-ring) dating in which old wood has been scavenged and reused in a later archaeological site; the resulting date is not a true age of the associated human activity.

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phosphate analysis

Analysing soil samples to detect high phosphate levels which can indicate trace of organic material.

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Pompeii Premise

The false notion that archaeological sites represent "snapshots in time."-- deposits usually accumulate through time and are not simple records of the past.

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Postholes

the hole or depression left when a post is removed from the ground, an indication of construction posts.

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preservation

Maintenance of a resource in its present condition, with as little human impact as possible.

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prismatic blade

a prismatic blade is a long, narrow, specialized stone flake tool with a sharp edge, like a small razor blade.

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95

radiopotassium dating

An absolute dating technique for old samples that is based on half-life for decay of potassium into argon in a new rock. Also called potassium-argon dating.

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96

Surface Collection

a collection of materials lying on the surface of a site

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Typology

a formal system of classification for assigning time and space meaning to archaeological materials

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98

A.E. Douglass

developed dendrochronology (tree-ring dating)

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99

Howard Carter

discovered King Tut's tomb in 1922

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100

Boucher de Perthes

archaeologist who found evidence of prehistoric flint tools in Europe.

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