Anth-202-fal-10-L07-Arch Dev-Cur Issue0

Anth-202-fal-10-L07-Arch Dev-Cur Issue0 - ANTHROPOLOGY 202...

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1 ANTHROPOLOGY 202 (500): INTRODUCTION TO ARCHAEOLOGY Lecture 7, 09/21/10: Explaining the Past: Scientific Theories and Interpretations OR “A Brief History of the Development of Archaeology and Current Issues/Perspectives” Through time and across space humanity’s ideas about the past have varied considerably; recall that about 2,600 years ago the Greek writer Hesiod speculated about 5 "Ages," from the good life--"Age of Gold"-to hard times--"Age of War" Earliest recorded "archaeologist:” Nabonidus (died in 538 B.C., or 2,546 yrs ago ), last king of the neo-Babylonian empire, Tigris and Euphrates river valleys Religious beliefs led him to rebuild temples of ancient Babylon; workers "excavated" to learn how to reconstruct old temples and scribes recorded history from the old inscriptions Thutmose IV (1412-1402 BC) excavated the Sphinx at Giza, as per his dream that the sun god would make him Pharaoh if he did so Renaissance (1500s) and post-renaissance intellectualism led to "curiosity" about and desire for antiquities , especially Roman, Greek, etc 1. Wealthy Europeans develop a taste for antiquities (aka Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Babylonian, and Celtic Art ) 2. Earliest depiction of an archeological excavation for valuable antiquities was in book written by Hungarian historian Johannes Sambucus in 1564 3. BUT elsewhere in Europe, ground stone axes were considered to be thunderstones, objects that formed where lightening struck the earth and arrowheads were thought to be fossilized serpent tongues II. Age of enlightenment: the scientific revolutions of the 1600s and 1700s A. Scientific evidence in the early 1600s led to efforts to understand natural relationships and changes through time; for example the presence of mammoth bones and stone tools in the same stratigraphic deposits in England 1. Theory of Catastrophism --great floods and other catastrophic events--as an explanation for temporal change 2. Archbishop James Ussher , early 1600s: earth created on October 22, 4004 BC (before Christ) or 6,002 years ago (4004 BC. + AD 2009 = 6,002 years ago); AD is derived from anno Domini; equivalent to CE, derived from C ommon E ra/ C hristian E ra/ C urrent E ra 3. Francis Bacon's advancement of learning (1605): scientific inquiry 4. Galileo Galilei's S idereal Messenger (1610): telescopes and the solar system 5. Nicholas Steno's (Denmark) Principle of Superposition (1669) : in any set of undisturbed strata, the youngest stratum is at the top and the oldest is at 1
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2 the bottom; order of the strata is order of deposition 6. Isaac Newton's Prinicpia Mathematic Philosophiea Naturalis (1687): math and laws of motion
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This note was uploaded on 02/28/2011 for the course ANTH 202 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Texas A&M.

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Anth-202-fal-10-L07-Arch Dev-Cur Issue0 - ANTHROPOLOGY 202...

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