L5 - ANTHROPOLOGY 202 (500): INTRODUCTION TO ARCHAEOLOGY...

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1 ANTHROPOLOGY 202 (500): INTRODUCTION TO ARCHAEOLOGY Lecture 5, 09/15/09: Decoding the Past: Excavating and Analyzing Archaeological Sites Documenting the archaeological record through excavation Research designs : a plan-of-action details excavation and related strategies and rationales (i.e., scientific methods) and lays out the research topics, theoretical context, and working hypotheses Testing ” as initial round of field work (aka exploratory archaeology) intended to gatherer basic information needed to fine-tune research design Vertical excavations —especially deep ones—in stratified deposits can yield informative, long-term snap-shots—stills of material culture—from which archaeologists infer cultural change passing time at a given place Horizontal excavations —especially expansive one—in well preserved deposits can yield informative short-term snap-shots—stills of material culture—from which archaeologists infer basic behavior at a given time in a given place There are many types of archaeological sites, for example Open sites (surface or buried)—short-term encampments, winter villages Cave and rockshelter—encampments, storage, religious activities More complex sites: mounds, multi-year farmsteads, long-term villages, permanent cities Excavation strategies: they are a lot about “location, location, location” Documentation of provenience (i.e., location in three-dimensional space) that can be related to UTM or lat./long., of the “block” of sediment being excavated 1. Unit ” designation—location in horizontal space—along the X (e.g., E- W) axis and the Y (e.g., N-S) axis, relative to a known horizontal datum 2. Lot ” designation—location in vertical space—along the Z (elevation) axis, relative to a known vertical datum
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L5 - ANTHROPOLOGY 202 (500): INTRODUCTION TO ARCHAEOLOGY...

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