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Archaeology Midterm


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Difference between Archaeology and Paleontology
Arch: artifacts and HUMANS
Paleo: no people--animal bones!
History vs. Anthropological Archaeology
Humanities vs. Social Science

Social Science: Cultural/Lunguistics, Physical anthro (bio), Archaeology
main focus is antique/ancient "objects"
Goals of Archaeology
Document where ppl live and changes through time
Explain past variability
Culture, Villages, Processes
Cultural Ecology
Culture is adaptive
Explain process of evolution
What factors led to development of a culture? How did it last?
Adaptations to situation/time?
3 Main Problems
Preservation (lack of)
arial photos, remote sensing techniques, regional perspectives--sample of what's there before digging
difficult to do this
The actual DIG

Why do things get buried?
Accumulation of things that are brought in for construction

ex. Mud brick houses--kept making bricks that would melt in the rain
Single Component vs. Multicomponent
one occupation or activity ??
Stratified Site
layers are noticeable and used to determine relative dating of the findings at the site
Arial Exposure
uncover things as they were on the surface--horizontally, expose a large area
Vertical Exposure
View the stratigraphy to determine chronology of the site
Law of Superposition
William "Streiner" Smith
The further something is buried, the older it is
Several problems with this theory--depends on context (Landfill issue)=reverse superposition
Absolute Dating
Exact number of years, an approximate date is determined
Relative dating
older versus younger
dating is relative to the events/objects that occured near it (this before that, etc.)
(stratigraphy=relative dating)
Carbon 14 Dating
Using Radioactive Carbon-14 amount of decay (HL=5730 years) to determine the age of something
Technology used to count the C12, C13, and C14 molecules of an object for C14 Dating
Standard Deviation (C14)
C14 dating will not give you the exact year so you place a plus/minus ?? years next to approximate date
--always consider deviation
ex: 1350 +/- 200 years
66% chance of: 1150-1550
Possible Contaminants for C14 Dating
Cigarette Smoke, Coal, Oil burned from Dinosaurs with no more C14

If 1% of C14 is added:
23,000 seems 21,700
67,000 seems 37,000!!!
C14 Limitations
-- only Organic Material
-- certain objects are easier than others (Charcoal is easier than Bone)
-- Limited time range where this works (up to 50 kya)
-- Tells nothing of the behavior associated with the object
KAr Dating
Similar to C14 Dating
Used for dating Volcanic Rock

HL = 1.3 billion years
Thermoluminescence (TL)
Dating of Heated Flint
Particles get trapped and release to become visible in light
Flintstone: burn it to release light and particles- a machine can tell us how much time has elapsed
GSR Dating
Used on teeth--study of teeth enamel to date them
Tree Ring Dating
Look at patterns on tree rings that are near each other--different widths and patterns for different times
Able to date the trees this way
Seriation (relative dating)
Changes in proportions or frequencies of artifacts through time
3 Systems of Grouping Artifacts
Taxonomy- the study of how classifications are made
Classification- groups are definited and objects are placed into these groups
Nomenclature- naming of groups
Organisms of similar appearance that can mate to produce fertile offspring
Lineaus vs. Darwin
Lineaus developed the system of Bio Taxonomy to prove that god created all organisms at the same time; Darwin used Lineaus's taxonomy to explain his theory of evolution and survival of the fittest
Ford/Spalding Debate (Archaeological Classifying)
Ford: Who cares about natives? Make groups that work for us
Spalding: make types depending on natives and whether types are REAL or not
FORD WON--present groups might not be real
Francois Bordes
STYLE is based on CULTURE for Lithic stone tools--developed 63 different groups of Stone Tools
Single Scrapers
retouched on ONE side
3 types: straight, convex, concave
Double Scrapers
retouch on BOTH sides
6 types: str.str, str.vex, str.cave, vex.cave, vex.vex, cave.cave.
Convergent Scrapers
retouch on both sides, meet at a point!
3 types: straight, convex, concave
(if 2 sides are different, make it up)
Mousterian Points
Convergent scrapers that could kill a bear! (subjective)
2 types: Long and Short
two sides converge at both ends
ONE type
Transverse Scrapers
retouch on connecting, flat side instead of on traditional side/s
3 types: straight, convex, concave
End Scrapers
retouch on convergent end of a piece that is longer than it is wide (versus transverse which is the opposite)
3 types: striaght, convex, concave
Tool with a concave section taken out (very easy to make)
Can have multiple notches on one tool but they cannot touch each other (aren't called notches)
tool has 2 or more notches that are touching each other
tool flaked on both sides (2-sided)
Pointed or Ovate forms (20 different Bordes types)
tool has a predetermined shape before it is flaked off
--important: thought process involved!!
Point it due to Strategizing!
Ethnography vs. Ethnoarchaeology
ethnography: observations of present-day people and their behaviors
ethnoarch.: linking present behaviors to possible past behaviors
Early Sources of Finding for Archaeology
Wealthy owners who had nothing better to do with their money-- only wanted artifacts from rich relatives--GOLD and ART!-Egypt and Mesoamerica --kept artifacts to themselves or gave to museums
Resources needed to establish a Home
food and water sources, shelter, raw materials, defensibility, topography, transportation routes, groups nearby but not too close, symbolic importance to the site (sometimes)
Electronic Resistance Survey (ERS)
two probes in ground that send electrical current between them
detect abnormalities or changes in density in the soil (possible artifact loctions)
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)
similar to Sonar but in the ground with electromagnetic pulsations
Proton Magnetometry
Measures the earth's magnetic field
Looks for changes in homogeneity of the ground
Shovel Test Pits (STPs)
1-3 ft in diameter, dig until sterile soil, get a picture of what is underneath: stratigraphy and a small picture of what may be there
Sahelanthropus tchadensis
6-7 mya, CHAD
similar brain capacity with apes
central foramen magnum, low brow ridges, flat face, thicker teeth enamel
Ardipithecus ramidus
5.5-4.5 mya in Ethiopia (East Africa)
Bones suggest bipedal posture
Probably lived in forrest/woods
"Southern Ape"

Robust vs. Gracile
Robust: heavily muscled (chewing muscles and sagittal crest on skull), larger teeth
Dr. Raymond Dart
Found first Australopithecus fossils in 1925
Australopithecus anamensus
4 mya
Tibia found
Kenyanthropus platyops
3.5-3.2 mya
Ambiguous findings: Skull?
our knowledge of anatomy may have induced this piecing together
Australopithecus afarensis
well-defined brow ridge, prognathism, ape-like teeth (small canines)
small brain: 415 ml
larger teeth and chewing muscles than apes
leg and pelvis are human-like
height range of 3.5'-5'
noticeable sexual dimorphism (differences between sexes)
Australopithecus afarensis
Donald Johanson=founder
footprints also found
Bipedal fossils-entire body!
Australopithecus africanus
3-2.2 mya
Child bones found (possibly would have grown into a robust?)
500-600 ml brain
prognathism, large brows
Forward projection of the skull seen in human ancestors starting with Australopithecus afarensis
Australopithecus robustus
(one of many robust types--we only need to know this one)
2.7-1.3 mya
450 ml brain
"dished" face
Sagittal crest (bony mohawk)
Oldavai Gorge, Tanzania
Mini-grand canyon--erosion has exposed very early beds
enormous molars, small front teeth, Homo habilis living at the same time as Australopithecus robustus???
Homo habilis, time period, brain size, and tools
2.3-1.6 mya
Overlap with Aus. for 1 m.years!
500-650 ml brain
First known TOOL MAKERS!
Oldowan tools (2.5 mya)
Homo habilis features
Increased cranial capacity (most important!!)
Less prognathism
Steeper forehead
Reduction in molars
Pebble Tool Industry
Homo habilis
Choppers: flakes removed from one side
Chopping Tools: flakes removed from both sides
Osteodontokeratic industry
(bone, tooth, horn)
50-60 year ongoing debate: What did they do before stone tools?
Hunting versus Scavenging
Sharp (rounded) cut marks found on bones suggesting tooth marks

How did they (habilis) kill massive beasts??
Power and precision grips
Look at finger bones to determine how they held the tools (hold them ourselves as well)
VD: shovel vs. trowel
shovel: faster, more efficient, can damage tools
trowel: slower but keeps the findings in situ (important for point proveniencing)
Deep Sea Cores and Ice Age
info on the earth's climate--how we discovered that there was the Ice Age
Foraminifera (Ice Age)

Two important things to look at
shell plankton used to look at climate in different periods of time
1) Number per Layer
2) Comparing O16 and Radioactive O18 isotopes to find out amount of water in glacier at the time
Cultural Explosion in Upper Paleolithic
better tool industries, different for diff. cultures, shelters, bone tools, needles for clothes, modern thought processes, etc.
Genetic Differences between Apes and Hominids
5-7 mya
All found in Africa-closest living primate relatives (argum)
Supports Evolution (over time)
Early Hominid Physical Characteristics
bipedal, smaller canines and molars, increased hand dexterity, decreased foot grasping, foramen magnum is more towards the front and underneath skull, thicker tooth enamel, less sexual dimorphism
Early Hominid Behavior
fossils, archaeology, and geology=locomotion, diet, activity, tool manufacture, geographic distribution, environmental setting
--inferences of social behaviors, foraging behaviors, and sophistication (opinion)
-endocasts, fossils, teeth, tools
Imprints on the inside of a skull from the BRAIN
HUGE argument of determining language development by looking at endocasts
What Teeth tell us about Early Human Origins
- small scratch marks=amount of grit
- microscopic study
- (also) study bone comp to see if they were vegetarians
First tool remains
2.5 mya
brain complexity
source material: movement of honimids over the landscape (argument: trade versus migration??)
with 100,000 types of tools, only 12 have been placed with a function (ambiguous)
Geological Context (Paleoecology)
Determine if this area was suitable for living based on general climate and environment
Homo erectus
(egastor, heidelburgensis, antecesor)
brain: 1000 ml
body: 5'3" tall
low, sloping forehead, big brows, prognathism, no chin
no sagittal crest!
post-cranial-very similar to Homo sapiens
West Turkana boy
1.8-1.6 mya, 9 yr old Homo erectus
Ubeidiya, Israel
(weird stratigraphy)
1.1-1.4 mya
Rift system: red sea, huge depression--stratigraphy is seen on the surface!! (instead of after a vertical exposure)
Acheulean Industry
Stone tool industry of Homo erectus: handaxes, scrapers, denticulates
Trinil, Java
(weird Homo erectus finding)
1891, Pithecanthropis erectus: now, considered Homo erectus without any stone tools present
Elongated and pointed, round
Bordes: Triangular, Cuniform, and Glucoid
Shape-Change over time: lots of retouch! (like a pencil that is sharpened)
Movius Line
(bamboo hypothesis)
Line across Europe and Middle East through India
African side has less stone tools because they do not have bamboo that they needd to cut with the tools
Bamboo hypothesis is not true for Europeans
Bose Basin, China
proof of handaxes in China-few locations and specimens
800 kya, Acheulian tools, evidence of HUNTING! with wooden spears
Ambrona, Spain
Bog deposits trapped animals so they were easier for us to hunt
--took a large group to kill a mammoth however, once bogged down in the mud, it was now possible
Neanderthal Physical Characteristics
Large brow ridges, low, sloping forehead, wide nasal cavity (adaptation for cold), occipital bun, robust post-cranially, cold-adapted proportions, no chin, largest brain size increase between H. erectus and Neanderthals
Debate: How to interpret Neanderthal findings?
1) Taxonomy Issue: same as H. sapiens or different?
2) Behavior Question: did they act like us? Brutish? Fearsome?
Mousterian Stone Tool Industry
Used during Middle Paleolithic: findings during Virtual Dig are mainly Mousterian (Mousterian points = could kill a bear)
Middle Paleolithic tools
Scrapers, denticulates, finer handaxes than Auschulian (debate), Levallois (thought process required)
Bordes Assemblages:
Denticulate Mousterian
lots of denticulates
not many scrapers
Bordes Assemblages:
Typical Mousterian
moderate denticulates, moderate scrapers
Bordes Assemblages:
lots of scrapers, not many denticulates, Levallois present
Bordes Assemblages:
lots of scrapers, not many denticulates, Levallois NOT present
Bordes Assemblages:
Mousterian Auschulian Condition (MTA)
Bifaces present
Bordes/Binford Debate
40 years ago
STYLE versus FUNCTION when grouping MP stone tools
Traced evolution of each Mousterian tool and how it formed: STYLES of different groups were based on culture of that group
FUNCTIONAL interpretation of findings and classifications

How much of the raw materials are they using?
Stone Spear (MP)
Found stuck in mammoth ribs
Some are 2 meters long
in Lower Pal = wooden spears
Symbolic Behavior
No clear examples/evidence
No painter caves, mobile art, clear temporal or spatial artifact types
slight evidence of cannibalism--don't know if this is ritualitstic or not
--Scratch marks on bones=lunar calendars??
-- Burials--no clear evidence as in UP
Tata Pebble-symbolism in MP
HAHA, totally wrong
- Found a tool BC with a cross scratched on it--maybe religious? (way off)
Neanderthal Symbolism in MP??
MYTH: Neanderthals worshipped cave bears: cave bear skulls found buried, Neanderthal femus shoved into bear skull--nothing worthy of even noting (natural movements and such)
(in class demo)
hardened lava rock used to make stone tools (in class)
Hard Hammers versus Soft Hammers
Rocks versus Bones/Antlers

soft hammers deform slightly when you hit the stone which brings different characteristics to the flake
Mood Predictions with stone tools
Some believe they can predict the moods of the stone tool producers by looking at the markings to determine how rough they were hit and with what precision they were hit
Is the flake the tool or the waste?
Usually flake is sharper and more useful
Debate over Handaxes because they are all so different and sometimes you can't tell which is a tool and which is waste
Notches: very easy to make-can be made by stepping on rocks
Continuity Theory
Sapiens and Neanderthals lived at the same time with limited evolution (GOD)
--Gene flow between regions prevented the development of modern humans throughout Old World
Replacement Theory
Moderns are replacing primitive ancestors (EVOLUTION)
valuable for archaeologists because it traces heritage through the mother
--Original "eve" was dated as early as 140 kya
--Feldhofer: evidence that Neand. have very different mtDNA than modern humans
-supports OOA hypothesis
MP and UP: Inhabitants and Stone Tool Industries
MP: Neanderthals: Mousterian
UP: Neandertahls: Chatelperronian
UP: Moderns: Aurignacian
Chatelperronian modifications from Mousterian (2)
Back-Knife: one side sharp, other side dull

Tended to make Long Blades!
Aurignacian distinguishing characteristic
BONE utilized for the first time
UP Burial Evidence
Lagar Velho, Portugal, 4yo
Looked like a Homo/Nean hybrid
(evidence of continuity?)
Tayacian (Recitation movie)
- Human bones found earlier than Neanderthals
- So primitive that thwy could be broken rocks
UP Significant Changes:
Stone Tools
BLADES (long, narrow flakes)
- split and pebble-based pts.
Endscrapers-resharpen like pencils to make them shorter
Bone Tools: Harpoons
UP Significant Changes:
Four Industries
Chatelperronian (mostly French)
Bone and minimal tooth PENDANTS--some with engravings
Other Jewelry

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