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Intro to Archaeology

by: Morghan Ellis

Intro to Archaeology ANT 107

Morghan Ellis
GPA 3.4
Intro to Archaeology
Steve Kosiba

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Intro to Archaeology
Steve Kosiba
Class Notes
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Morghan Ellis on Sunday January 18, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ANT 107 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Steve Kosiba in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 367 views.


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Date Created: 01/18/15
Great Discoveries in Archaeology January 13 2015 TUesday Notes Before Midterm Anthropology the study of the past present and future of the human race Archaeology the study of human past through material remains involving themse of time and change Pseudoarchaeology Unsubstantiated speculative and untested claims made about past societies Runestones were used by the Vikingsmarkers for where things occurredmostly burrials 0 Kensington Runestone group of Vikings went shing when they came back everybody was dead 0 Aliens in Egypt Lost City of Atlantis etc Nasca Lines of Peru The 5 Goals of Archaeology Discover new material remains of the past Place these remains in chronological order Reconstruct past ways of life Preserve Archaeological Sites Educate the public about Archaeology U39lbUUNH Prehistoric vs Historical Archaeology Presence vs Absence of written texts Shades of Gray 0 Not all writing systems were developed at the same time 0 Maya Code cracked in the 19805 Ethnohistory European colonialism Eras in the History of Archaeology 1 The Era of Speculationuntil 18th century 2 The Era of Modern Archaeology19th century 3 The Era of Technology20th century Ancient quotarchaeologistquot Thutmose IV 1500 BC excavated portions of Great Sphinx Left record on stelae stone tablet o Painted Said he had dream where great sphinx came to him and said quotif you clean me up I will make you ruler of Egyptquot Thutmose later became pharaoh The History and Theory of Archaeology 0 Middle Ages in Europe church discouraged interest in the pagan past The quotantiquityquot of humankind Bishop James Ussher c1650 0 Age of world using Genesis origin in 4004 BC Thomas jefferson quotFather of American Archaeolog Americas Myth of the moundbuilders 0 Mounds must have been built by an extinct quotcivilizedquot race 0 quot Vikings lost tribe of Israel Ancestors of the Aztecs Jefferson 100 years ahead of his time Adopted a scienti c approach Recognized stratigraphy Excavation trenches and pits Function of chronology of mound Regional perspective Unbiased results DID NOT RECOGNIZE BURIAL PRACTICES OR WARFARE Jefferson s work largely ignored Continuing belief in the Moundbuilder Myth Racism Land Claims Little conception of the antiquity of humankind Era of Modern Archaeology Begins in mid 18005 with Three Advances 0 1 Age of HumankindEarth 2 The recognition of stratigraphy 3 The 3 age systemcultural evolution Christian Thomsen Came up with 3 age system stone bronze iron 0 First curator Danish national museum Copenhagen Jens J A Worsaae CJ Thomsen s assistant succeeded him as curator Used stratigraphy to verify 3 age system Proved that the system applied to all of Europe The European Prehistoric Chronology lron agemost recent 0 Bronze age Neolithicagriculture stone tools 0 Mesolithic Paleolithic oldest General Augustus PittRivers Militarylike precision 0 Organized excavations and precise mapping 0 Complete recovery Sir William Flinders Petrie Collecting all artifacts not just ne objects Established technique of seriation in 18905 Mostly dug naked or in a pink tutu Ancient Egypt had a rule that you39d be shot if you got caught excavating The loophole was if you looked mentally handicapped you couldn39t get shot so he dressed like a crazy person Sir Mortimer Wheeler British Archaeologist Grid Square Method Trained schools in modern eld methods Worked in India and Pakistan One of the rst archaeologists to use students in eld schools Age of Technology Carbon 14 Dating Measuring the amount of carbon left in an object based on the rate that it decays to determine the age of an object Aerial Reconnaissance Remote Sensing Ground Penetrating Radar Electronic Resistivity Magnetometry Satallity Imagery False color composites Differences in vegetation could be sites January 15 2015 Thursday Notes before Midterm Material Culture Objects fashioned by humans according to cultural preferences 0 Also includes the built environmentmodi ed landscapes houses special purpose buildings roads etc Debitagequottrashquot Artifact Feature Ecofact Site WNI IO Artifact portable object or material used modi ed or created by human activity Attribute any distinguishing characteristic of an artifact Type A category of artifacts de ned by a consistent clustering of attributes Ecofact Nonartifactual remains that have archaeological relevance Provide information on environment and subsistence Feature nonportable humanmade object Cannot be moved without destroying Must be studied documented in the eld EXAMPLE Laetoli Footprints Africa ca 36 MYA Kolomoki Georgia pit house Features go along with a term called Structure Structure Architectual unit often related with features such as pyramids palaces walls Site concentrated traces of human activity Accumulations of artifacts or features EXAMPLE Pueblo houses Transformational Processes Effects after remains deposited Natural decay burial etc 0 Human induced plowing looting Preservation of Material Remains 0 Inorganic vs Organic 0 Environment Inorganic materials were things that were never alive such as stone Organic materials were things that were at once time alive such as cotton bones Inorganic materials 0 Stone tools ornaments Extremely good preservation Metals such as bronze iron 0 Recycling Problem 0 Architecture made from stone Organic Materials 0 Generally poory preserved Architecture made from wood grass bone etc Preservation Climates Poor Preservation Tropical Humidity acidic soils plants and insects o Temperate variable temperature and humidity Good Preservation Extreme stable preservation environments good lack of bacteria 0 Frozen areas Waterlogged areas 0 Very dry areas Otzi the Iceman c 3300 BC Best naturally preserved human skeleton EVER Found between Austria and Italy One of the world s rst copper makers Copper age European 3300 BC Data and Lines of Evidence 0 Archaeological reconstructions of the past are based on material remains forms of material culture 0 Types based on researcher speci cation not those of the makers Archaeological approach has also been applied to modern world Trash domestic life migration January 18 2015 TUesday Notes Before Midterm Pedestrian Survey 0 Systematic walkover of an area in search of archaeological remains Non destructive Lack of context 0 Cover large areas quickly Test Pits Placed at regular intervals in an attempt to locate ancient materials 0 Destructive Excavation Systematic uncovering of artifacts and features 0 Types of excavation vertical horizontal Vertical Excavations Excavated to expose strata Site formation and chronology Horizontal excavations Opening large areas of particular layer Reveals spatial association between artifacts and features Screening is passing soil through mesh to retain artifacts Flotation Technique for the recovery of botanical remains Two basic types of dating techniques 1 Relative Dating 2 Absolute Dating Relative Dating Olderyounger not xed years Seriation o Stratigraphic Bone Chemistry Pollen Dating Seriation 0 Classi cation grouping artifacts into types based on their attributes Seriation creating a sequence of artifact types and variability over time Three Age Sytem 0 Stone Bronze Iron Distinguishing attributetype of materialtechnology o Thomsen relatively dated tools seriation Worsaae validated using stratigraphy Stratigraphic Dating 0 Sequential layering of depositsstrata 0 Superposition Three Rules of Relative Time 1 Principles of Superposition 2 CrossCutting Relationships 3 Original Horizontality not needed to know FluorineUranium Datingbone chemistry 0 Older bone incorporates more uorine and uranium during fossilization Greatest Hoax that Ever Occurred The Piltdown Fraud Great Britain wanted to be cool and made up some fossil Exposed in 1953 Absolute Datin Calendars and Historical Chronologies 0 Examples Romans recorded events relative to year of the rule of consuls or emperors sometimes to year of Rome s founding o Greeks reckoned from date of rst Olympic games 776 BC Maya reckoned time from the beginning of a creation cycle starting in 3114 BC Dendrochronology 0 Study of the annual growth rings of trees 0 Very precise dates 0 Requires good wood preservation Radiometric Methods Radiometric measuring radioactive decay of unstable isotope Radiocarbon 14c Dating Willard Libby in 1949 awarded nobel prize January 20th 2015 Thursday Notes before Midterm GEOLOGICAL TIME SCALE Caendar of Earth s history based on evidence found in rocks and soilrock strata 4 erascovering 46 billion years Precambrian Paleozoic Mesozoic Cenozoic CENOZOIC ERA 65 million years ago 0 Current era Mammals ourish Primates developed 0 Human ancestors 57 million years ago 0 Modern human species 200000 years ago EXTINCTION EVENTS o 5 mass extinctions o Largest PremianTriassic Extinction 250 mya Most recent Cretaceous Tertiary Extinction 65 mya HOW DOES THE STUDY OF GEOLOGY BENEFIT US 0 Understanding how the Earth s subsystems work will help ensure the survival of the human species 0 Investigate changes in climate 0 Method for the relative dating of artifacts and framework for earth s history WHAT IS EVOLUTION 0 Evolution is the change in the genetics of a population over time Microevolution Pesticide and antibiotic resistance More directly observable Macroevolution Evolution of whales Evidence comes from fossil record comparison of anatomy comparison of genes and proteins etc THE PRINCIPLES OF NATURAL SELECTION VARIATION Every species has an individual variation o In a particular environment some traits are more adaptive oVariation is necessarythe more t are selected over the less t HERITABILITY o Offspring inherit traits from their parents DIFFERENTIAL REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESSFITNESS The better adapted individual produce more offspring than others 0 The frequency of adaptive traits will increase in following generations EVOLUTION 0 Theory for how all life developed on earth ALL LIVING THINGS ARE RELATED AND HAVE DESCENDED FROM PAST ORGANISMS o Explains how primitive protozoa became all of the different species we see today Homology is the existence of shared ancestry between a pair of structures or genes in different species A common example of Homologous structures in evolutionary biology are the wings of bats and the arms of primates Vestigiaity refers to genetically determined structures or attributes that ha ve apparent y lost most or all of their ancestral function in a given species but have been retained through evolution A common example is the human appendix


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