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Glossary of Archaeological Anthropology

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What is archaeology?
The reconstruction of **cultural systems** from various kinds of remains;

The study of **dead** populations.
Prehistoric Archaelogy
Reconstruction of societies that have NO written records

(ex. Ancient Egypt, Africa, etc.)
Historical Archaeology
Reconstruction of cultures that have written records

(ex. present-day, ancient Rome, etc.)
Artifacts
Material culture that is modified by human activities and can be removed from the site without destroying them.

(ex. stone tools, bows, pottery, etc.)
Features
non-portable material culture made by human activity; can't be moved from archaeological site without causing damage to the site or the feature.

(ex. hearths, huts/houses)
What is the definition of an archaelogical site?
a spatial distribution of artifacts and features
Ethnographic Analogy
Inferring the use of ancient tools by look at similar tools in recent living primative societies

(ex. Kalahari Bushmen)
Experimental Archaeology
inferring use of ancient tools by making and using similar tools
Stages of Archaeological Research
Discovery; Recovery; Analysis and Curation
Discovery Stage of Archaeological Research
Pedestrian Survey or Aerial (Satellite) Survey; 1.5 foot test pits based on statistical sampling.
Recovery Stage of Archaeology
Use grid system to dig site and remove materials from site using ***vertical*** and ***horizontal*** dimension.
Vertical Dimension
how deep the artifact was found in the site; accumulation of sediments through time reveals age of artifact.
Horizontal Dimension
Controlled by using grid system; placement of artifacts is recorded and photographed/drawn

Stratigraphy can reveal order of events (ex. Sir Mortimer Wheeler's famous Roman battle reenactment)
Relative Dating Techniques
superposition; seriation; association
Superposition
Relative dating technique based on superposition (stuff at the top is younger than stuff on the bottom);

determining age of one item in comparison to another.

(ex. stratigraphic sequence)
Seriation/Seriation-Graphs
placing archaeological material in chronological order according to popularity of the stylistic shifts in the artifcats.

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