ANTH005 Midterm II Study Guide
Small Scale - the scale of artifacts, ecofacts, and features
Medium Scale - the scale of sites
Sites are spatial groupings of cultural materials
Sites can be organized in different ways
Large Scale - the scale of regions
Regions are the most flexible spatial cluster of archaeological data
Definiable area bounded by topographic features such as mountains
Lecture Notes 10/25 and Page -- in Textbook
Obvious Sites - Obvious on the surface - Mesa Verde
Invisible Sites - Some sites are invisible on the surface - Ceren, El Salvador
Surface survey (Pedestrian Surveying)
Historical Texts - Using Historical Texts to find Archaeological Sites
Finding Troy (parts were already uncovered so identifying the bounds of Troy) Environment
Using the Environment to find sites
Anedes are people who cut boundary lines so they know the land well and can guide you to what you are looking for
Convincing people you are looking for things and aren’t crazy We also discuss several other topics like When is contact hypothesis utilized?
Lecture Notes 10/25 and Page 88 in Textbook
Aerial Remote sensing
LiDAR - Light Based Aerial Mapping (short for Laser distance and ranging)
Satellite scanners record the intensity of reflected light and infrared radiation.
Accurate digital elevation model
Can map through dense forest canopy We also discuss several other topics like What are the top natural resources of brazil?
Aerial Survey and Photography
Oblique vs Vertical Angle
Oblique angle is used to see features; preferred angle for archaeologists
Vertical angle is directly overhead; used for maps
We also discuss several other topics like What is the difference between horizontal and vertical proliferation?
Don't forget about the age old question of Which feeling of a person does internalized norm involve?
Photographs have often been taken during different seasons or over a span of years as visibility can change
Most common platform is in airplanes, other options are drones, balloons and kites equipped with remote-controlled cameras
It provides data for preliminary analysis of the local environment and its resources Satellite Imagery Don't forget about the age old question of What are some examples of delusion?
LANDSAT (infrared vs. thermal)
Infrared; Infrared wavelength (e.g. health of vegetation)
Thermal: how heat flows through a material
Checking at ground level to determine what the various contrasting patterns and feature visible on aerial imagery Don't forget about the age old question of What is the difference between basic ethics and applied ethics?
Subsurface remote sensing
Electromagnetic Survey - Also known as Electromagnetic Survey
Resistivity Survey - measures the differences in ability of subsurface features to conduct electrical current
Magnetometers are instruments that discern minor variations in the magnetism present in many materials. Unlike the compass, magnetometers measure the magnetic field intensity Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)
Sends electromagnetic waves into the earth to be reflected as echoes by subsurface discontinuities, such as soil strat and constructed features
Used to detect and record archaeological evidence beneath the surface by ground-based remote sensing methods.
Core and Auger Survey
For excavation and control, coring and augering are two types of deeper excavation methods. Coring uses a tube that is stabbed in the test pit and gets a deep and neat strat sample. Auguring does similar work with a large drill run by humans or machines
Shovel test pit survey
Helps you discover levels of soil
Shovel probes in heavily wooded areas to check soil
Lecture Notes 10/25, 10/30, and 11/1 and Page 94 in Textbook
Mapping is always a balance between time/money and accuracy
Topographic and plan view - Elevation maps and building plans
Tape and Compass
Pace and Compass - using your steps to measure your distance
Total Station - measures angles very well. Has a rod with a reflective mirror. Gives precise distance, can measure distance and vertical angle
Remote Sensing Data
Environment and Preservation
Environmental Reconstruction - Climate can change thus causing the need for reconstruction Pollen analysis, what people were eating, the environment,. Ratios of pollen within the sample Phytolith Analysis - hard bodies found in the cell walls of plants
Page 141 in Textbook
Found in grasses, Microscopic silica structure, produced by some plants that persist after the decay of the plant
Faunal Analysis - Bones of Animals
What animals were there or what animals people ate
Isotopic analysis on different animal bones
Soil Analysis - how much carbon was in the air at the time
Ice Coring - Get an idea of what the atmosphere was like in the past
Sea Levels - water expands when it is heated
Sea levels not only consider volume and amount of water but also the temperature Good Contexts
Most items that get preserved are usually durable
Dry - Dryness slows the rate at which microbes can eat away at the flesh
Peruvian mummy - cold and dry
Cold - Ice Man, Italy and Austria
Anaerobic (Wet) - Oxygen deprived
Necropants, 17th century Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft
Humid and Forest Environments
Plants, Roots, Ice Wedging, and Animal rich environments can damage artifacts Certain Plants and animals
Volcanoes - Pompeii
Landslides - Preserved Toy Canoe, Hominid Footprints
Natural Disasters can either preserve or destroy artifacts
Lecture Notes 10/30 and Page 67-70 in Textbook
Excavation and Control
Types of Excavation:
Core and augering, shovel test pits, test pits, trenches
Horizontal (Synchronic) Stripping - primarily deep probes of subsurface deposits. Their main thrust is vertical, and their principal objective is to reveal, in cross section, the depth, sequencing, and composition of archaeological remains. This category includes test pits, trenches, and tunnels.
Stratigraphic (Diachronic) Excavation - primarily at the horizontal investigation of deposits. Their main thrust is outward or across, and their principal objective is to reveal the horizontal extent of an archaeological deposit and the arrangement of objects within the deposit. Clearing excavations emphasize tracing continuities of single surfaces or deposits of varying extent.
Page 108 in Textbook
Excavating in Architecture
Methods and Equipment
Grids and Provenience
Wheeler Box Grid and other balks
Harris Matrix makes sense of depositional sequences
Horizontal control and the “world of string”
Provenience - Levels and datum
Vertical Control - See changes in soil through time
Stratigraphy: profile or cross section
Matrix - The soil and sediment that surrounds and supports the archaeological materials (artifacts, ecofacts, and features)
Provenience - The 3D position of the archaeological materials within, or on top of the matrix Association - The spatial relationships between two or more archaeological materials Lecture Notes 10/25 and Page 71 in Textbook
Middens - specialized areas for rubbish disposal apart from other activity areas.
Primary vs Secondary
Primary contexts refer to the conditions in which both provenience and matrix have remained undisturbed since the original deposition. Intact archaeological features are always in the primary context, although later disturbance can remove portions of such features from primary context.
Secondary contexts refer to alterations of provenience, association, and matrix by either human or natural activity. Many archaeological sites havebeen disturbed by subsequent human activity by accident or design.
Page 70-71 in Textbook
Transposed Primary Contexts
Collecting Excavated Artifacts/Ecofacts
Dry-screening - 1/4th inch mesh to sift through dirt to find artifacts
Wet-screening - 1/8th inch mesh to sift through dirt with water to find artifacts; difficult to get all sediment in a 1/4th inch mesh when dry
Floatation - Minute particles are separated from the soil with agitation by water
Lecture Notes 11/6 and Page 111 in Textbook
Tags, bags, forms, notes, photos, and drawings
Archaeology is destructive so you may be disturbing the site
You may not have the time or resources to come back
Law of Superposition - unless it’s been disturbed, things which are lower are older Relative Chronology - dating things in relation to each artifacts rather than a fixed timeline Soil Changes
Munsel Color Book used to identify soil color
Texture (clay, sand, and loam)
Lecture Notes 11/6 and Page 146-148 in Textbook
Site Formation Processes
We have to understand how archaeological contexts were form to understand what they mean Natural Formation Processes
Erosion, deposition, and redeposition
Bioturbation - Insects/animals tunneling or burrowing causing artifacts to move deeper causing artifacts to appear lower in the matrix than they originally were
Swartzkrans, South Africa
Animals eating hominids and dropping bodies after eating rather than hominids living in a cave Many bones had bite/gnawing marks from a cat on them
There was probably a tree where predators ate or hunted around
Cultural Formation Processes
Repurposing abandoned and Collapsed Architecture
Natural and Cultural Formation Processes
And Natural Transformation
* Life History of Sites/Artifacts
Acquisition - Quarrying Stone
Manufacture - Cutting Stones Down
Use/Reuse - Forming the Great Pyramids
This is a cycle with many repetitions and sites/artifacts can be repurposed and reused over time Lecture Notes 11/6 and Page -- in Textbook
As archaeological data are collected and recorded in the field, recovered materials and records are organized and processed. The processing of these raw forms of data ensures their preservation, security, and availability for study.
For artifacts and ecofacts, processing consists of cleaning, conserving, labeling by provenience, and sorting into basic categories to prepare them for later analysis.
Page 113 in Textbook
Stylistic Attributes - involves the most obvious descriptive characteristics believed to reflect the choices of its maker: its color, texture, decoration, alterations, and other traits.
Form Attributes - the overall three-dimensional shape of the artifact and aspects of that shape. These include measurable dimensions such as length, width, thickness, and weight. Technological Attributes - the characteristics of the raw materials used to make artifacts and any other traits that reflects the manufacturing process.
Page 117 in Textbook
Research Designs (Parts of Formulating)
You need a question, goals, and a plan
Where to begin, what to test, what to collect, what to analyze?
National Endowment for the Humanities
History, Geography, Geology, Archaeology, Ethnohistory
You need to know everything about the area before excavating
Formulation involves defining the research problem, performing background investigations, and conducting feasibility studies. The research problem and goals may be influenced by a variety of factors - the archaeologist’s personal interests, local concerns, and in a CRM situation, a government contract. Page 79 in Textbook
The Research Team
Director - manages permits and paperwork
Field Director (crew chief) - manages day to day operations of excavations
Field Archaeologists - primary excavators for projects
Technical Experts - artifacts are rarely exported from excavation country so bringing experts to the site to analyze and make observations about the area and the artifacts. Potentially trained in specialized tool/technology usage required for excavation to proceed without issue
Students - grad/post-doctorate students who help field archaeologists with excavation Workers - people who help move dirt, pack etc
Other needs (cooks, medics,etc.)
Camp, Provisions, and Logistics
Political, Social, and Community Relations
Hiring Locals as workers to give the locals access to academic money
Judgemental - use prior knowledge to guide your choices
Systematic - choose a method that must be followed systematically
Simple Random - Random Selection
Stratified Random - Random Selection spread over more than one section of data
Adaptive - using the judgemental selection in conjunction with another method Lecture Notes 10/8 and Page 78-82 in Textbook
The exam cover material from 10/18 Lecture: Starting a Project through 11/8 Lecture: Stratigraphy as well as Chapters 4 and 5 from the Textbook.