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ASB 222, Week 2 Notes

by: Brittany Notetaker

ASB 222, Week 2 Notes ASB 222

Brittany Notetaker

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About this Document

Notes cover an introduction to the field of Archaeology and what will be on the first exam
Buried Cities and Lost Tribes
Class Notes
Intro to Archaeology, Archaeology
25 ?




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Brittany Notetaker on Monday September 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ASB 222 at Arizona State University taught by Sharp in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see Buried Cities and Lost Tribes in College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University.

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Date Created: 09/12/16
ASB 222: Buried Cities and Lost Tribes Introduction to Archaeology 08/24/16 Class Business  Drop/add deadline is today  Disability Resource Center (DRC)  Office hour location change - Now in SHESC 312  Photos and videos of human remains  Don’t buy notes online! Class Outline  What archaeology is NOT  History of archaeology  What is archaeology today?  Anthropological perspective  How is archaeology a science?  Goals of archaeology  Why is archaeology important? What archaeology is NOT  Looters or Paleontologists History of Archaeology Western world discovers its past  Archaeology isn’t what it used to be  Antiquity of humanity  Modern archaeology began in 19th c  In the 16th and 17th c, many Europeans believed stone tools were made by elves and fairies  Until stone tools were found in same layer as bones of extinct animals o Jacques Boucher de Perthes’ drawing and artifacts of the Somme River gravel, France  Mound Builder Myth o Grave Creek mound, West Virginia  Founder of Americanist Archaeology – o Workers digging a trench across a mound o Concluded mounds built by Native Americans What is archaeology today?  It’s not what you find, it’s what you find out  Research objectives  Αρχαιολογία = talking about ancient things  It’s the study of past peoples based on the things they left behind and the ways they left their imprint on the world (Deetz). o How ‘old’ does that past have to be to qualify as ‘archaeology?’ How ‘old’ does that past have to be?  From about 3 million years ago (when the first recognizable artifacts* appear, as far as we understand things at the moment) until… yesterday * Artifacts (or artefacts) – see next lecture  Oldest stone tools from Kenya  Date to 3.3 mya Archaeology and History  Main material on which history depends is written records  First written sources appear 5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia  Long era called Prehistory for which archaeology alone is responsible  Prehistory: derogatory and arrogant term? Simply classificatory! o Period before written records o Can be different for different locations around the globe  Dates o mya = million years ago o kya = thousand years ago  Historical archaeology: o Studies the remains of literate societies that were capable of recording their own histories (Deetz). What kinds of material remains are we talking about?  Any kind of material remain, as long as it helps us understand something about humans and their lives in the past What makes an archaeologist is not so much what they study, but how and why they are studying it…  The questions they ask  The methods they use to answer them  The responsibility they feel about the fate of the material they unearth and the people who may be affected Archaeology & Anthropology  Kinds of Anthropologists o Linguistics  Language and thought Sociolinguistics  Historical Linguistics o Cultural  Ethnography  Ethnology o Biological  Human evolution  Human variation  Bioarcheology o Archaeology  Prehistoric archaeology  Historical archaeology  Classical archaeology  Άνθρωπος = human being  Anthropology is the scientific study of the origin, the behavior, and the physical, social, and cultural development of humans Anthropology  Holistic o Considers all aspects of human existence o Integrates the findings of many related fields = MULTIDISCIPLINARY  Biological and Cultural change through time  Cultural Relativistic approach What is Culture?  Integrated system of beliefs, traditions, and customs that govern or influence a person’s behavior.  Culture is: o Learned o Shared by members of a group o Based on the ability to think in terms of symbols Cultural Relativism  The position that there is no universal standard to measure cultures, that all cultures must be understood in their own terms.  Ex: Cannibalism Ethnocentrism  The belief that the ways of one’s own culture are the only proper ones and, thus, should be used as a standard to measure all other cultures and beliefs Is Archaeology a Science?  Anthropology - Social Sciences  History - Humanities  Archaeology: ? o A lot of methods from natural sciences o Creative imagination o Research design  For me: archaeology is a humanistic science History vs. Science  History focuses on particular past events  Science tends to focus on regularities across a class of events ex. Political revolutions Archaeology is both history and science  Scientific Method o General Steps:  Formulate Question  Construct Hypothesis  Test hypothesis through experimentation /data collection  Modify hypothesis and retest  Science in Action o Observations  Some burials are within or very close to monumental architecture while some are much farther away o Hypothesis  Those burials within or closer to the monumental architecture are of higher status than those farther away  Null hypothesis - There is no difference between the burials o Experiment  Excavate burials within, close to, and far from monumental architecture  Those burials with more goods and better quality goods are of higher status What do archaeologists do?  Collect evidence systematically  Conduct experiments  Formulate hypotheses to account for data  Test hypotheses against more data  Come up with interpretations / models: descriptions that best summarize the patterns observed in data  Are always aware that their data depend on their theories and their interpretations are not the one and only objective truth Ok, so what is archaeology again? What archaeology is…  Discovery of past material remains (material culture)  Scientific analysis of these remains and their ordering in space and time  Exercise in creative imagination combined with painstaking task of interpretation, so that we understand ‘what it all means’ for the human story  Responsibility of conserving the world’s cultural heritage against looting and unnecessary destruction  Responsibility towards the public Goals of Archaeology  1. Reconstruct the history of human populations (What? When? Where?)  2. Explain this history (Why?)  1. Reconstructing history o What happened on this site? o What were they doing? o What type of tools were they using? o When did they arrive? Leave? o Where did they come from? o Where did they go?  2. Explaining history o Why did we disperse around the globe so rapidly? o Why is there sexual division of labor? o Why did we domesticate plants and animals? o Why did we start to live in villages? In cities? o Why monumental architecture in state societies? Why is archaeology important?  Video clip:


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