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10.30.09 - Friday 1 Formation of the Archaeological Record...

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Friday, October 30, 2009 1) Formation of the Archaeological Record a) Archaeological Record: the modern empirical traces of past human behaviors b) Artifacts have a life history , which is called their systemic/behavioral context i) Procurement ii) Manufacture (breakage) iii) Use (breakage) iv) Recycle v) Loss vi) Discard c) Archaeological Context i) How do things become a part of the Archaeological Record (1) Movement by mechanical processes (2) Alterations of condition by chemical/mechanical processes (freeze-thaw action) d) Archaeologists i) Are predominantly interested in the systemic context of artifacts ii) The archaeological context (waterlogged, freeze-thaw, underwater) is the “noise” that must be filtered out in order to get at the systemic context e) Preservation Factors i) P = f(M, C, D, S, T) ii) P = condition of preservation when recovered archaeologically iii) M = material (1) Stuff an artifact is made of (2) Perishable – usually not present (flesh, flowers) (3)
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