Lecture 3 The Structure of American Archaeology
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Lecture 3 The Structure of American Archaeology

Course: ANTH 2363, Spring 2008

School: Southern Methodist

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Archaeological Concepts Applied, engaged, and public anthropology... The application of anthropological data, perspectives, theory and techniques to identify, assess, and address contemporary social issues Kinds of Archaeology Prehistoric Archaeology Historic Archaeology Classical Archaeology Underwater/Maritime Archaeology Geoarcheology Ethnoarchaeology Experimental Archaeology Public Archaeology Public...

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Concepts Applied, Archaeological engaged, and public anthropology... The application of anthropological data, perspectives, theory and techniques to identify, assess, and address contemporary social issues Kinds of Archaeology Prehistoric Archaeology Historic Archaeology Classical Archaeology Underwater/Maritime Archaeology Geoarcheology Ethnoarchaeology Experimental Archaeology Public Archaeology Public Archaeology is Applied Anthropology Managing archaeological sites and other cultural resources Historic preservation planning and law Education Expert witness and testimony Forensic archaeology The Garbage Project Stewardship Henry Wright University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology National Geographic Society archaeological expedition to Iraq. Looting and antiquity trafficking is illegal Looters not only steal objects, they destroy sites, along with valuable evidence that can never be replaced.... Archaeological Site and Data Destruction Natural Agents Geomorphic Processes Soil Property Changes Fauna/Flora Freezing/Thawing Catastrophic Events Fire Human Agents Intentional Actions Incidental Actions (Disregard) Land Development Agriculture/Land Clearing Land Reclamation Flood Control Water Development Recreation Roads/Public Utilities Mining Industrial Institutionalized (Mitigation) Archaeological Survey and Excavation Agency Management Predatory (Personal Gain) Hobby Collecting Curiosity Marking Commercial Malicious (Often Political) Revenge Frustration/Oppression Wanton No motive First Principles: Archaeological sites and associated materials are non-renewable resources... Once the information has been removed from the ground, whether through archaeological excavation or as a result of looting, development, erosion, or other processes, the site itself is gone. Forever ... When archaeological investigations are conducted, the information from the ground is transformed into archaeological data that are used to interpret and explain the archaeological record What does that mean? Archaeological Data Relevant observations made on objects that then serve as the basis for study and discussion (e.g. measurements) Data = plural Datum = singular Data Set = singular Objects are not data All artifacts tell a story... The Archaeological Record The documentation of artifacts and other material remains, along with their contexts recovered from archaeological sites. The collections, drawings, photographs, reports and interpretations Data: Quantification and Qualification Variable: any property that may be displayed in different forms. Attribute: a minimal Thickness 1.2 cm Length 8.5 cm characteristic of an artifact such that it cannot be further subdivided. Color: Brown Material: Chert Width 3.2 cm Unlike looters, archaeologists know that it is the context that is priceless. In context, every object discovered has irreplaceable value because it has meaning. It is only with careful and documented excavation that we can have an accurate "picture" with which to interpret the past. What do we mean by meaning? The objects (artifacts) can only tell a complete story if they are found together, where their owners left them (in context). Context: The spatial relationships between important parts of the archeological site Provenience: The location of an object relative to a system of spatial data collection What is this? In Situ The term applied to anything believed to be in its original location after discard or being lost Law of Association If two objects or classes of objects are consistently found together, the two objects were probably in use about the same time in the cultural context. Established by recording 3-dimensional locations Recording Space in Archaeology Zero Datum Point: A fixed reference used to keep control on a dig; usually controls both the vertical and horizontal dimensions of provenience The zero datum point establishes a permanent marker for the site to assist future researchers with locating earlier excavations. The elevation of the datum point is also recorded so that vertical measurements may be reconstructed at a later date. The Grid System Unit S4E5 A control system to aid in recording the exact location of specimens, features, other phenomena as well as to guide the process of controlled surface collecting and site testing Surveying tools are used to create an accurate field, usually with 10cm to 1m baulks left between the excavation units. In this way levels are uncovered one at a time, with the baulks left until a new level is reached. The Plan View The view from above that depicts variability in horizontal space Pot Creek Pueblo, New Mexico (A.D. 1260-1320) Relationships are recorded using x-y coordinates within a grid system Locus A specific point in space A discrete excavated unit or archaeological context (plural = loci). Generally used to make larger subdivisions within a site where discrete clusters of features or artifacts are located Excavation units typically are sorted by loci How many loci do you see? The Profile View Stratigraphy; from stratum (plural = strata) or distinct layers of earth. The layering of deposits in an archaeological site Stratigraphy Soil stratigraphy is used to better understand the processes that form and protect archaeological Successive sites. layers help to date finds or features from each context, as they can be placed in sequence and the dates interpreted. A stratigraphic profile or section locates materials according to depth (z-dimension) and helps to establish the relative ages of archaeological deposits. Low Level Theory The generation of facts in archaeology through observations on objects and their spatial relations. Each observation is based on a "why" question... Mid Level Theory This focus on context or the spatial relations of artifacts and sites causes us to ask additional questions How does stuff that we find in the ground today relate to human behaviors in the past? Ethnoarchaeology Experimental Archaeology High Level Theory Stratigraphy helps us to record change over time in archaeological assemblages and develop cultural chronologies. Chronology, in turn, provides the foundation for asking the major why questions of human events and advancements Why do states develop? Why do animals become domesticated? Why do human beings think in symbolic terms? Archaeologists Excavate the Past to Preserve the Future One of our most important duties is stewardship or the protection and perpetuation of archaeological sites for the benefit of future generations. There is absolutely nothing more exciting than discovering something new in the ground that helps us learn more about ourselves and others and how we all ended up here together. Pueblos The name given by the Spanish to the sedentary Native Americans who lived in stone or adobe communal houses in what is now the SW United States. Francisco Coronado Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi) The term pueblo is also used for the villages occupied by the Pueblo people. Their prehistoric settlements extended southward from Southern Utah and Southern Colorado into Arizona, New Mexico, and adjacent territory in Mexico. Anaa'szi "Ancient Enemies" (Navajo) "Ancestral Puebloan" is the preferred term today. Emphasizes continuity (Anasazi did not disappear) Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi) Transition from archaic hunters and gatherers to sedentary agricultural populations occurred around the first century A.D. when maize, squash, and beans were widely adopted Although agriculture provided the bulk of the diet hunting and gathering was an important source of additional foodstuffs. Pottery manufacture began about a.d. 400 and was used for cooking and water storage. Clothing was woven from cotton, grown in warmer areas, and yucca fiber. Early houses among the Anasazi and Mogollon were pit houses, which were replaced by adobe and stone surface dwellings throughout the region by the end of the first millennium a.d. Ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi) Villages: variable in size and architectural content, but most included circular, often subterranean structures known as kivas (apparently a derivation of the pit house) and storage pits for grains. Prior to the 14th and 15th century densely settled villages were rare although large pueblos were present in Chaco Canyon during the 11th and 12th centuries, and at Mesa Verde, where multistoried cliff houses were inhabited in the 13th and 14th cent. Changing climatic conditions forced the abandonment of much of the region by the early 14th century, with populations migrating to their present-day locations in the Rio Grande valley and a few other isolated areas (e.g., the Hopi mesas). Pueblo Chronology Basketmaker II (1500 BC AD 250) (Early Agricultural Period) Basketmaker III (AD 250-700) (Origins of Village Life) Pueblo I (AD 700-900) (Large Villages/Hamlets) Pueblo II (AD 900-1150) (Public Architecture, Clustered farmsteads) Pueblo III (AD 1250-1300) (Mesa Verde cliff dwellings Pueblo IV (AD 1300-1450) (Large aggregated villages, Katchina cult) Pueblo V (Post 1540) (Historical Period) Hopi Maidens Historic/Ethnographic Pueblos Settlement in permanent, multi-room, multi-story masonry structures (stone and mud apartment buildings) Emphasis on food storage and preparation Specialized grinding tools (mano and metate) and storage rooms Subterranean chambers, special rooms set apart from other structures, known as "kiva" Keyhole shaped kivas Pueblos Linguistic Stock Group Tribes or Villages Nambe, Tesuque, San Ildefonso, Jan Juan, Santa Clara, Pojoaque (recently extinct) Hano Isleta, Sandia, Taos, Picuris, Isleta del Sur (Mexicanized) Jemez, Pecos (extinct) Practically extinct. Senecu, Socorro del Sur, (both Mexicanized) San Felipe, Santa Ana, Sia, Cochiti, San Domingo Acoma, Laguna, and outlying villages Zui and its outlying villages Walpi, sichomovi, Mishongnovi, Sipaulovi, Shongopovi, Oraibi Tewa Eastern, or Rio Grande, Pueblos: Tanoan and Keresan speakers along the Rio Grande and its tributaries Tanoan Tigua Jemez Tano Piro Keresan (Queres) Zuian Shoshonean Eastern Western Zui Hopi Western Pueblos: Hopi, Zuni, Acoma, Laguna Western: Emphasis on rain-making, harmony insured by assistance of Kachina spirits Eastern: Some emphasis on rain-making, more emphasis on harvest ceremonials, hunting societies, curing ceremonies Corn Metaphors Water Metaphors Zuni Witch Trials (1890s-1925) Bow Priesthood: 22 trials, 18 cases. 5-6 trials ended in execution (2 multiple killings). 15 cases ended in ostracism or beatings

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