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Anthropology 120 Week 2

by: Katie Blackmer

Anthropology 120 Week 2 ANTH 120 001

Katie Blackmer
GPA 3.71

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About this Document

These notes covered lessons 3 and 4 of what we discussed during second week of class.
Unearthng Past:Prehistory, Culture Evolution
Nawa Sugiyama
Class Notes
Anthropology, unearthingthepast
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This 14 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katie Blackmer on Saturday September 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 120 001 at George Mason University taught by Nawa Sugiyama in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see Unearthng Past:Prehistory, Culture Evolution in Anthropology at George Mason University.


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Date Created: 09/17/16
Lesson 3: Locating ancient sites How do sites get lost? • Some sites don’t and some are hidden. • Taphonic processes: o N transform o C transform BACKGROUND RESEARCH: DOCUMENTARY SOURCES • In Homer’s Iliad: Trojan Wars • Heinrich Schliemann archaeological excavator of Turkish site of Hisarlik • Archaeological methods: Blasted through top layers in hopes to find Older Troy period artifacts • Criticisms: o Many say he blasted through Troy Period, what he found were pre-troy material o Dressed his wife up in the jewels from excavation o Arising questions to description of sites, mythical sources GOALS OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY • Dealing with sites of no knowledge, how do we do it? o through archeology survey o Find a site to excavate o Create inventory of ancient remains o Research design- investigate questions Surface manifestations of archaeological sites: • Artifacts (mostly lithics or potsherds) • Architecture (stone or fired brick) • Mounding (eroded mudbrick) • Soil discoloration or vegetation differences o Why is an area a lot greener? ▯ Rocks underneath the soil keep moisture in • Examples: o Artifacts: Surface scatter o Mounding: Near Eastern Tell Survey techniques • Scale • Boundaries (natural/cultural) • Time • Resources-funding • Climate/environments o Current reasons why you can’t survey-national borders, security Analysis: region • Largest cluster of data • Geographical: bounded by natural features like mountains • Cultural: similarities in material • Local scales, comparing to region level Aerial survey/remote sensing Using airborne or spaceborne remote sensing divided into two parts: • Data collecting(photographs from aircrafts or satellite) • Data analysis (analysis of images taken, interpreted, and integrated with other evidence from field survey) o Walking, clearing a path to make a line Example: stone hedge, deeper top soil, vegetation grows Aerial revolution: • Implantation of satellite • Corona images o LiDAR remote sensing- rapidly pulses a series of beams to ground from aircraft and records, by measuring the time taken to return to aircraft an accurate picture is formed in the form of a digital model o Very effective way to do a rapid mapping o Example: Lost city discovered in the Honduran Rain forest- flew a plane over to map it o Example: LiDAR at Teotihuacan, clear and easy to map from above Subsurface detection: remote sensing • Reconstruct, get a sense from underneath • Helpful to minimize resources • Only excavate a site once • The more you know before, the better Probes(augers) • Peeping holes from underneath the ground • Collected data, distributions of buildings GIS databases: • Standard approach to archaeological mapping • Collection of computer hardware and software and of geographic data, designed to obtain, store, manage, manipulate, analyze, and display a wide range of spatial information • Also incorporates the ability to carry out a statistical analysis of site distribution and to generate new information o Information about populations o Different types of vegetation can be analyzed REMOTE SENSING AND GIS • Like all methods, need to consider: o specific questions to answer, time, budget • Work as preliminary to excavation or as documentation in and of itself • Non-destructive methods responsible for future • Documenting site locations Lesson 4: Dating in Archaeology Foundations of Dating: • History • Stratigraphy o how old are they? Types of dating • Relative: idea that something is older ( or younger) relative to something else • Absolute: full or absolute age in years before the present of different events, how quickly such changes as the introduction of agriculture occurred and whether they occurred at the same time or differently in different parts of the world Foundations of dating • Old school dating (before the 18th century) • Interested in description and categories • Divine plan of creation or the grand design • Date of creation 4004 B.C. (archbishop James Ussher) th • Great Chain of Being (Aristotle in the 4 century) • Fixity of species- pre Darwinian • Problems: o Industrial revolution: fossils turning up, inconsistences o Dodo bird extinction ▯ How could we really date this period of time when these creatures did exist? New school dating • Charles Lyell (1797-1875) and James Hutton(1726-1797) o Uniformitarianism: same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now have always operated in the universe in the past and apply everywhere in the universe. It has included the gradualist concept that "the present is the key to the past" and is functioning at the same rates. o Forces that drove change were consistent or uniform o Provided an immense time scale o Example, river cutting a bedrock, same today o When we see a process like erosion that those are the same today as the past Darwinian Revolution Maybe there is a way to document change, in a biological sense Stratigraphy- animal breeding, it’s possible for species to change over time and the processes it takes Geology- different layers, time scales Stratigraphy: • Study of Stratification o The laying down or depositing of strata or layers one above the other. Two main laws of stratigraphy • The law of Superposition states that that in a sequence of strata, the layers at the bottom are older than the ones at the top o When viewing a landscape, a layer must preexist before the next can be put on • The law of cross-cutting relationships states that a feature that cuts across or into a stratum must be younger than the stratum Harris matrix • represent the relationship between the different strata o the number 6 is example of cross cutting relationship Rock #3 in Harris Matrix- comes first because of crossing cutting Relative dating • Correlation by material: Strata can be correlated based on the sequence and assemblage of finds • Where index fossils, such as ammonite Psiloceras planorbis, are used by geologists to determine chronological contemporaneity between distant strata, so archeologists use Diagnostic types of artifacts and their frequencies within cultural strata to establish cultural contemporaneity of assemblages from the distant localities • Utilizing these two basic concepts, superposition and index fossils/diagnostic artifacts, archaeologist can quite effectively determine the depositional and cultural history for a site region Law of association • artifacts associated with one another in a layer are the same age Typology • example- style of clothing, becomes in the end diagnostic artifacts, design of bowls changed over time, what’s in at the moment actually becomes used to date a time Seriation- • Contextual Seriation o Arranges artifacts based on frequency with which they occur in specific archaeological contexts ▯ Example: Style of preference-70’s clothes • Frequency Seriation o Ranks artifact types based on their relative frequencies in appearance in absolute time ▯ Example: Technology changing over time ▯ What is the rate of change? ▯ Idea of what is the rate, parallels different technology to evolution itself Attributes • Formal o Physical form/shape, more closely related to “function example- bowl changing, a used functional change, technology • Stylistic Decoration, imagery, example- coke bottle Example of Seriation- • new England’s old burying ground o Dethlefesen and deetz o 3 types of headstones ▯ deaths head, winged cherub, urn and willow ▯ stylistic change ▯ Advantages- straight forward, absolute dating Absolute dating • Actual numerical number associated with dates themselves o A.D./B.C.- of the Christian Era, and Before Christ o C.E.- Common Era o B.C.E- Before the Common Era o BP- before present o KYA- k- thousand o MYA- Million Techniques • Tree rings o Radiocarbon o Thermoluminsescene o Pottassim- argon(k-Ar) o Obsidian Hydration(oh) Historical chronology • Written history, dates are absolute, Mayan calendar o Most sites, written history evolution, very small component of the archaeology record Absolute Dating Techniques • Dendrochronology o Trees grow through time by adding a layer to the trunk o A lot of rings- very old o Smaller rings- not too old Dendrochronology • Range: up to 6700 BC • Precision: 1 year • Material type: wood • Limitation: outside • The tropics, certain species of tree Radiocarbon dating- • (Prevalent) • Use of Isotopes • Half life of 5730= 40 years • Can date up to 40,00 KYA • Given years in BP=(P= 1950) • Reason we use BP during this, the testing nuclear bombs, atmospheres carbon changed and effected the radio carbon • BP- being 1950 o Example: 400 BP= 2050 BC • Whenever you see BP subtract 1950 from it Potassium- Argon Dating • Radio active decay of K into AR • When lava solidifies, No AR in rock • As K decays, AR accumulates in rock • Most reliable with volcano rock • Half life= 1.25 billion years • Useful for some rocks older than 500,000 years • • • 9/17/16 3:30 AM 9/17/16 3:30 AM


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