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ARch ch. 1-4


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the study of humanity
biological/physical anthropology
the study of human biological or physical characteristics and thier evolution
cultural/social anthropology
the study of the nonbiological, behavioral aspects of a society
the study of an individual contemporary cultures through firsthand observation
the study of modern cultures with a view to deriving general principles about human society
the study of the human past through its material remains
studying human language as a way of understanding a culture
Material culture
everything made and used in the daily life of a culture
the study of contemporary cultures with a view to understanding the behavioral relationships which underlie the production of material culture
THree Age System
a classification system by C.J. Thomsen that establishes the idea of ordering things into sequences
2) Bronze
3) Iron
arranging artifacts in chronological or developmental sequences
Direct Historical Approach
attempt to trace a modern phenomenon directly into the past
a collection of artifacts
cultural ecology
the relationship between human society and its environment, in which culture is viewed as the primary adaptive mechanism
New Archaeology
a new approach advocated in the 1960s which argued for an explicitly scientific framework of archaeological method and theory
salvage archaeology
the location and recording of archaeological sites in advance of highway construction, drainage projects, or urban development
Postprocessual/interpretive archaeology
a new approach in which there is no single, correct way to interpret archaeological remains
-objectivity is impossible
- interest in cognition and religion
a focus on men, often to neglect or exclude women
any portable object used, modified, or made by humans
non-artificial, organic and environmental remains which have cultural relevance
a non-portable artifact
a distinct spatial clutering of artifacts, features, structures and environmental and organic remains which are the residue of human activity
sites grouped and studied together with their surrounding landscape
the physical material within which artifacts are embedded or supported
the exact horizontal and vertical position of an artifact in the matrix
primary context
area in which no one disturbed the item from the time it was used
secondary context
area where the item was placed by someone after being removed from primary context
(cultural transform)
deliberate or accidental activities of humans
natural processes that effect the record
a deliberately-buried group of valuables or prized posessions

-often in times of conflict or war
-have not been reclaimed
peat bog
important environment for wetland archaeology that is made up of decomposing vegetable matter , in northern latitude, that creates a sealed area
research design
systematic planning of archaeological research strategy to answer a certain question
ground reconaissance
a wide variety of methods for identifying individual archaeological sites, including consultation of documentary sources, place-name evidence, local folklore; but primarily actual fieldwork
unsystematic survey
walking and scanning the ground of a site and recording the location of artifacts and surface features
systematic survey
less subjective scan of a site involving a grid system and more accuracy
aerial reconaissance
site discovery from air or space
things viewed in relief from aerial reconaissance
soil marks
changes in subsoil color that reveal the presence of buried things
crop marks
changes in areas of crop growth that show evidence for buried things
oblique view
shows sites in the context of landscape
vertical view
better for making maps and plans
planimetric map
shows the human remains of a site, and relates human-made features
geographic information systems

map-based interface to a database designed for collection , storage, and retrieval, analysis, and display of spatial data
ground penetrating radar

measures the depth of changes in ground through pulses of sound
vertical layers of soil to see time ; used as relative dating
Law of Superposition
states that , where one layer overlies another, the lower was deposited first
wheeler- kenyon method
method of excavation in which squares are dug out, with baulks in between to see the vertical history
open-area excavation
the opening up of large horizontal areas for excavation; used where single period deposits lie close to the surface
excavation method used on very deep sites (tells) in which excavation proceeds downward in a series of gradually narrowing steps to see the remains of every time period
in situ
describes an artifact in the context of where it was found
relative dating
the idea that something is older or younger than something else; putting things into sequence
absolute dating
putting an exact date/year on an artifact
before common era
common era
before present (present is 1950)
used in radio carbon dating
co-occurence with something else in the archaeological remains
chronological ordering of artifacts in which similar ones are adjacent to one another
-frequency seriation
-linguistic dating
-climatic chronology
the grain flowering plants; used to date
an engraved stone that is standing with an absolute date
terminus post quem
date after which

-no earlier, could be later
terminus ante quem
date before which

-no later, could be earlier
a deposit of sediment that results from melting ice sheets every year
(only works in certain areas)
dating using tree rings
radiocarbon dating
nethod that measures the decay of radioactive isotope in carbon in organic material
how long it takes for one half of a sample to decay
standard deviation
a measure of the range of values in a set of numbers
potassium-argon dating
method used to date volcanic rocks up to 5mill. yrs old
global events
catastrophes that affect a large part of the globe
earliest hominids, found in africa

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