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September Notes

by: Jeri Horner

September Notes ANSC 301

Jeri Horner
GPA 3.0
Principles of Archeology
Jason R Fox

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About this Document

These are all of September Notes for Archaeology as the Final will be somewhat cumulative. October Notes will come tomorrow.
Principles of Archeology
Jason R Fox
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This 14 page Bundle was uploaded by Jeri Horner on Wednesday October 14, 2015. The Bundle belongs to ANSC 301 at Radford University taught by Jason R Fox in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 66 views. For similar materials see Principles of Archeology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at Radford University.

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Date Created: 10/14/15
These notes are cumulative from the beginning of the semester Dr Fox stated that while the final is not cumulative specifically it is cumulative in some of the concepts What is Archaeological Anthropology Anthropology 4 fields skeletal biology humanprimate evolution forensic anthropology human biology and genetics Sociolinguistics Structural Linguistics Ethnography and Ethnology Medical Anthropology Feminist Anthropology Political Anthropology Paleo ethnography amp Paleo ethnology Zooarchaeology Paleo ethnobotany and many more Elements of the Anthropological Approach Holism view that economics religion social organization politics can be studied as a complex whole Use of the culture concept Culture is defined in many ways Classic definition Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge belief art morals law custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society EB Tylor 1871 Incorporation of both emic inside view and etic outside view Application of the scientific method though some might differ with Dr Fox here Some historians and art historians who do historical archaeology aka classical archaeology growing number of pseudo archaeologists The Scientific Method a framework for investigation Three major goals of scientific inquiry 1 Describe accurately and completely 2 Explain how and why 3 Predict phenomena before they happen can we even do this The Scientific Method Use of Inductive and Deductive Reasoning Inductive reasoning use specific observations of data to formulate hypotheses description and explanation Deductive Reasoning using hypotheses or set of hypotheses to produce experiments or predictions about the world this is the testing phase predictionevaluation of hypotheses Major goals of Archaeology Study 1 2 Accurately describe the archaeological record amp model the sequences of events represented often called culture history Accurately describe and model past human lifeways paleoethnography Generate and test hypotheses and theories to explain how and why cultures took the forms they did and why they changed the way they did over long intervals of time paleoethnology Stewardship managing and conserving the archaeological record Using the lessons of the past to shed light on the conditions problems and challenges of modern societies applied anthropology History of Archaeological Thought A Early periods 1 Pre18th century antiquarianism o Backward looking curiosity about artifacts 2 18quot 19th Centuries o Colonial Period European domination o Florescence of Enlightenment Thinking Rationalism Progressivism 0 Charles Lyell 1833 Uniformitarianism Suggests old age of the earth gt6k Time depth provides framework for Darwin s idea Comes when a growing number of fossils are appearing Outcrops and exposures of sedimentary rocks provide evidence of the uniformity of natural processes over time Thus rock formations can be explained with use of analogy to modern sedimentary processes The idea is extended to plant animal and human physiology behavior adaptation etc present acts as analogy for the past B Major schools of thought 19th century to present 1 2 3 4 5 6 19th century Unilineal Cultural Evolution Unilineal Evolutionism Late 19 Early 20th Century Historical Particularism Culture History Archaeology and Diffusionism Mid 20th Century Cultural Ecology and Multilinear Evolution 1960s to present The New Archaeology AKA Processual Archaeology 1980s to Present PostProcessual Critique Today Processual Plus C Unilineal Evolution gt All societies evolve from these very primitive times to these very modern times 1 2 Context of Colonialism armchair anthropology 19th century Progressive notion of history and societal evolution Savagery Barbarism Civilization with Europe at the apex Theory explained Modern savages as living fossils Best understood in light of Colonialism This legacy persists today when working with many Indigenous peoples D Historical Particularism 1 Championed by Franz Boas super important dude late 19th early 20th century 2 Basic Outline Reaction to ethnocentrismracism of UE Viewed each culture as unique historical entity Advocated end of armchair anthropology called for professional field work Extremely INDUCTIVE approach rejected existing forms of general theory 3 Effect of Archaeology Rise of Culture History focus on systematic field work methods focus on reconstructing the history of individual cultures little or no macro theoretical interests aimed at reconstruction of sequences chronology what happened not much about why E Theory of Mid20th Century 1 Signs of discontent with HP historical particularism and lack of general explanatory theory 2 1930s Julian Steward advocates Cultural Ecology Multilinear Evolution in Cultural Anthropology cultures allow people to adapt to socialnatural environments societies evolve in varied ways not a simple unilineal fashion Culture is a social mechanism that allows people to adapt naturally and socially 3 1948 W Taylor writes blistering critique of archaeological anthropology o Obsessed with chronology 0 Simple description no explanatory theory forget about prediction 0 Calls for Archaeologists to develop theory that serves the discipline How and why questions The idea that archaeologists were theorists was completely foreign to some people Supposed to be thinkers 4 Other developments 0 Discovery of radiocarbon dating in 1949 o Emergence in Ecology Evolutionary Biology in 50s 0 Rise of Science education in the US NSF established wother sources of science funding Greater prestige and authority 0 Set stage and paradigm for the founders of the New Archaeology F Rise of the New Archaeology 1 The New Archaeology would take the best of Culture History Archaeology What happened in the Past 0 Based on three sources of change Invention Diffusion spread of facts Migration spread of people 0 Two means by which changes are adopted by societies Inevitable variation simply random change analogy of genetic drift like bell bottoms are popular sometimes and other times not so much Cultural selection advantageous traits selected analogy of natural selection New Archaeologists said that all this is fine but did not go nearly far enough 2 Critique and New Agenda fermented in late 50s to 60s argued that I D and M did not explain why cultures change eg why are some inventions adopted and some are not called for new methods and theory based on Hypothetico deductivenomological simply the formal scientific method archaeology to be more than mere documentation rigorously tested body of theory leading to covering laws stuff that is always true all the time emphasis on how and why questions means a focus on process sometimes called processual archaeology Materialist Theories emphasize the material world dominant form of thinking Processual theories all feature hybrids of cultural ecology multilinear evolution systems theory and all tend toward materialist forms of explanation o Advocates use of problem oriented research and formal research design 6 Post Processual Archaeology agency humanism post modernism and eclecticism 1 the inevitable critique arising in the 1980s1990s 2 took many forms too many to list including a relationship to post modernism skepticism toward materialism hard science and objectivity favors a more humanistic approach subjectivity emphasis the lived lives of individual people the inner life 3 All archaeologists have accepted these critiques to some degree Exactly who remains a Processualist and a Post Processualist today is unclear 4 In this class Dr Fox aims for Processual Plus Emphasizing a processual approach but not dismissive of alternates especially when they are actually doable III The Archaeological Record A Unlike Cultural Anthropologists we cannot directly observe but must study the archaeological record comprised of sites densely occupied or wide open expanse human remains important section artifacts ecofacts past environment features artifacts of a special kind 1 Sites 0 Settlements villages cities 0 Special function sites Killbutchery sites one time kill animal at spot means no humans lived there Stone quarries economic logistic sites Ritual locations 2 Human Remains o Fossilized remains of hominids and other primates 0 Archaeological remains from individual and collective burials 3 Artifacts anything made or modified by humans but preservation favors stone and ceramic objects 90 of which make up archaeological record Chipped stone projectile points ground stone artifacts pot sherds on the surface of a site washed pot sherds 4 Ecofacts include animal bone amp plant remains o Macrobotanicals charred seeds amp plant parts recovered via flotation o Microbotanicals pollens amp other micro parts 0 Animal bone is recovered in large amounts amp comes in all sizes from ground snails to mammoths 0 Plant and animal remains all must be analyzed by species and tell us about diet climate ecology etc very abundant in archaeological record 5 Features include structures amp nonmobile artifacts 0 Walls 0 Floors clay plaster etc o Hearths 0 Post molds and more B Site formation processes three fundamental processes that contribute to the archaeological record 1 Initial Deposition o Disposal habits and activities 0 Abandonment mobility etc 2 Cultural transformations activities by humans 0 Recycling amp reuse of artifacts building materials sites 0 Looting o Excavation 3 Noncultural processes both chemical and physical 0 Soil groundwater acidity o Microbe activity bacteria fungi etc 0 Physical amp chemical agents wind water sunlight o Bioturbation movement as the result of activity of worms rodents scavengers etc Taphonomy study of post deposition stuff c Preservation Environments of good amp bad preservation 1 In general record strongly biased toward inorganic materials stone ceramic bone minerals etc 2 However extreme conditions offer preservations wet lands amp peat bogs of Northern Europe the bog bodies arid conditions deserts mountains caves favor rapid dehydration Examples many mummies of the world Egypt Peru Freezing conditions frozen organic materials can last centuries or millennia Examples Ice Ma Otzi or Inka Mummies Volcanic ash deposits ash deposits scorch and rapidly cover materials Examples Herculaneum Pompeii in Italy Ceren in El Salvador 0915 Introduction to Ceramic Technology and Ceramic Analysis Jomon earliest pottery in the world some of the earliest pottery is very fancy Does it look prestigious Or did mom amp dad cook dinner in it Earliest known extends to Paleolithic Period Some are called ceramic others just baked due to low firing temperatures Hearths in some caves are very hard very ceramic Ceramicsclay loam is a mixture of clay silt sand Three particle sizes 0 Clay very fine very small Prone to erosion blowing away 0 Silt wind can blow silt 0 Sand need a vessel to move this Clay wafer like disc charged particle that has a positive and negative side to it Primary clay located at its point of origin Secondary clay found in environment where nature has already done all the sorting and stuff best found along river banks Terrace reliced flood plain Not going to find huge amounts of clay around cataracts and rapids because it s carried away Tempering agents in pottery CIay contracts against itself which will cause it to explode when baked so they added materials to make it less likely to do so The list of materials is infinite Grit ground up limestone soft rock that can be smashed up and mixed into clay and water mixture Sand works also Naturally formed sand is usually smooth and round Limestone is a bit jagged To make potter you need clay amp temper and of course fire Punching and pinching modeling to construct a vessel Paddle and anvil used to produce a cord marked pot Wheel thrown pottery almost exclusively new world Finishing techniques 0 Use of hand burnishing instrument on wet potter rubbing wet pottery with piece of metal 0 Can also let the pot dry and polish it before firing it 0 Hard to tell the difference between burnish and polish 0 Clay watery slurry slush black surface color produce by slipping o Drying to leather hard condition before pottery is fired it is absolutely essential that it is completely dry 0 Openpit firing of ceramic vessels 0 Kiln firing ceramic vessels Classification aka Typology 1 By technology and firing characteristics Firing Tech terra cotta wares sintered at 350 to 700 degrees celcius Earthen wares partially vitrified at 800 to 900 degrees celcius Raw materials and construction Fabric color and tempering material Corrugated modelled mold made wheel thrown Surface treatment none burnishpolish incised etc Wares groups share similar technology fabric surface treatment often augmented by region name eg Tizon Brown ware is a CA plain ware type Plain wares lack surface treatment texturedpattern wares have impressed patterned surfaces Painted wares have pre or post firing points IV Archaeological Reconnaissance first phase of research surface survey of regions and sites Archaeological Surface Survey 1 involves reconnaissance at two scales individual site survey regional survey 2 Regional survey uses lowtech transects walked by surveyors spacing determines intensity typically called full coverage a misnomer alternative is the squares approach described in your textbook this is not done at regional level in US 3 individual site survey involves mapping of surface materials and collection of a sample of surface materials this is usually done as part of regional survey 4 modern survey includes surface collection using well defined sampling strategies representative sample of artifacts 5 Might also involve limited test pitting andor auguring small fast excavations to assess chronology B The Goals of an Archaeological Survey 1 collect key data on sites location time period size site function preservation natural resources 2 in cultural resource management CRM sometimes called phase one research where the goal is to assess archaeological resources in a region and establish basic information about periods of occupation 3 BUT archaeological survey can be much more than simply asking where are the sites many examples can be shown from settlement pattern studies directly off of surface data C Some additional technologies and methods used in survey 1 aerial amp satellite photography used in regional and site surveys reveals features and sites not plainly visible on the ground due to ground cover scale of feature etc 2 Magnetometer survey used in site survey instrument measures electrical sensitivity in soils magnetic anomalies things that look natural suggest locations of materials below the surface 3 Ground Penetrating Radar GPR used in site survey detects changes in stratigraphy or matrix walls wells and other subsurface anomalies 4 LIDAR light detection and ranging is increasingly important closest you can get to Xray vision D Survey Data What can we use and what do we learn 1 site location important relative to a variety of variables resource proximity eg productive soils water etc subsistence using sitecatchment analysis defense eg hilltops 3sided valleys etc economic strategic control eg Silk Road to Asia Teotihuacan Obsidian sacred space eg Mecca Jerusalem Teotihuacan etc political control points Washington DC Monte Alban etc They all provide clues to the logic of a settlement system Note that all of this assumes there is a logic behind site location and the spatial patterning of sites 2 Site size important to understand population estimate site population many methods NOT straightforward but usually good as a relative indicator used to estimate regional population as well IV Archaeological Survey D Survey Data cont d 3 Site function domesticritualpoliticaleconomic functions distinction between production distribution and consumption in material culture is a key here 4 Sociopolitical and economic organization politically amp economically complex societies show multiple tiers of settlement hierarchy tiers based on population tiers based on administrative facilities tiers based on economic functions IV Archaeological Survey E Examples Two approaches to settlement pattern archaeology not exhaustive list 1 site catchment analysis model the economic potential of a settlement often with reference to subsistence products what is subsistence lt food 2 Rank size analysis geographic model that predicts specific patterns of ranked settlements using a number of variables in well integrated economies and political hierarchies best explained graphically 4 possible patterns normal convex concaveprimate primo concave


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