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CAL - ANTHRO 2 - Class Notes - Week 4

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CAL - ANTHRO 2 - Class Notes - Week 4

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background image Anthro 2AC 9/12/2016 Read:  Ashmore and Sharer 2014, pp 60­65; Hyder and Lee 2015 III.CHALLENGES STUDYING ARCH. MATERIAL  1.  Differential Preservation of Material Remains E. Best Contexts for Preservation
i. Stable Anaerobic Conditions   Underwater Sites in Anaerobic Conditions;
Cold Water and/or Buried; Examples:
Mary Rose 
(King henry the 8 th  war ship that sunk. Lost 300 sailors in the sinking.  Excavation in 1892. There is 22,000 different artifacts) , La Belle  (off the coast of Texas. Robert  De La Salle. Summer of 1995 was found. Excavation in a dame. Contents were well preserved. 
Over 1 million different artifacts) 
­ deep cold water. 
            ii. Freezing Conditions (Ice Man from Italian Alps  5000 year person aka Otzi ) ­ inhibit the growth of bacteria.  iii. Arid Conditions – Rockshelters, Caves, Mesa Verde National Park ­ hot dry  environments with little precipitation.  F.  Unexpected Contexts; Example from Garbage Project; William Rathje’s Landfill  Excavations; Volume of plastics in landfills? Findings in1980s before recycling: Small %
by Volume of Fast Food Refuse, Plastics, Diapers 
(inorganic materials)  ; What Find –  Mostly Organic Materials: paper, lumber, food waste (hot dogs), yard refuse; Find that 
Landfills Mummify Materials: Rapid Deposition, Stable Environment, Keep Dry – 
Produces Anaerobic Conditions; Need to facilitate biodegradation;
Recommendations for Future Land Fills; 
­ out of the 14 tons of garbage analyzed few  than 100 pounds were fast food wrappers. Stereo foam was 1% and plastic bottles were 1% by 
volume. The majority of the volume includes newspapers, all paper products were well over 
40%, and grass clippings were 7%. Mass amount of materials are organic materials. Found that 
landfills facilitate preservation. Biodegradation: decomposition of organic materials by exposing 
it to water and air. Landfills are producing anaerobic environment.  G.  Average Preservation (More Typical Situation)    i.  Open Air Sites, hot/cold, wet/dry, acidic soils;  ­ what conditions are more typical for  archaeologists. Low pH soils. Some of the material archaeologists did not enter the  archaeological record and if they did then it may have been changed ii. We Typically Work with Skewed or Biased Sample of Past Material Culture; Some  Materials May Be in Transformed or Altered State  – only able to recover a partial picture.  iii. Think about VLSB 2050, if we Had to Leave Materials Behind; What would be here  30­40 years Later?  – Inorganic (glass) would still be here. Food and some things we use on the  daily would not be.    iv. Decomposition of Old Cars  they rust away ; Roads  they decompose and vegetation  starts to grow through them ; Entire Towns; Fort Ross: Native Alaskan Village Site  brought down

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School: University of California Berkeley
Department: Sociology
Course: Introduction to Archaeology
Professor: Kent Lightfoot
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: Intro to Archaeology
Name: Week 4 Notes
Description: Here are the class notes for this week
Uploaded: 09/19/2016
4 Pages 20 Views 16 Unlocks
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