Unformatted text preview: behavior &archaeology sedimentary environments dynamic vs. static vs depositional energy systemic vs. post-depositional processes postarchaeological context = active v. stable land surfaces v transformational process burial processes = physical, chemical, biotic, p y , , , site f i formation i cultural "exiting" systemic diagnosing transformations context context predepositional process = primary context = postdepositional process p p p secondary context = d = DYNAMIC STATIC sediment sourcesource-sink model systemic context = transformational process = the function or response of a physical object within a dynamic system of behavior physical remains that have "exited" systemic context and become part of the static geological record conversion archaeological context = e.g., discard, abandonment, loss e.g., redeposition, bioturbation redeposition, distortion ceramic The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms With Observation of Their Habits Charles Darwin 1882 soil SYSTEMIC systemic context =
model life-history life artifacts,
TRANSFORMATIONAL PROCESS ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECONSTRUCTION features, sites and regions progress through as series of distinct stages acquisition q transport manufacture p use maintenance recycling discard ARCHAEOLOGICAL acquisition = digging for clay manufacture = forming pots manufacture = kneading clay to remove bubbles manufacture = mass open kiln firing transport = bringing goods to market use = thermal failure of pot on fire use = cooking dinner discard = discard broken pot different life-histories combine different stages what do they all have in common?
acquisition q manufacture use acquisition = digging for clay IDEATIONAL SOCIAL TECHNOLOGICAL discard recycle transport transport = g p goods to market transformational process = agencies that "convert" physical objects from "convert" systemic to archaeological context discard, abandonment, loss... loss... ...sometimes called "cultural transformation" agencies Unique Life Histories q that "distort" the characteristics of "distort" physical objects in archaeological context p y j g modification and preservation (destruction) of the archaeological record g predepositional process = before burial postdepositional process = after burial postdepos t o a p ocess a te bu a transformation processes in action
l l f i cultural transformation process
physical object h i l bj discarded Hey! Th t' my That's dodgeball! Land Surface Land Surface predepositional transformation
object buried below ground surface water flow moves object from discard location Land Surface Land Surface archaeological reconstruction g Land Surface Land Surface soil water chemically dissolves object postdepositional transformation archaeological reconstruction g method and theory
how and when was the object buried below the surface? Land Surface Land Surface was the object modified by a p y postdepositional p transformation? method and theory th d d th method and theory y method and theory
how and why was y the object discarded? was the object moved or modified by a predepositional transformation? p p Land Surface Land Surface does the object retain traces of life-history stages? site formation think like a geologist... method and theory how do sediments accumulate, and how are they transformed and destroyed? fragmented solid materials that have been transported and deposited by some agency and that forms loose unconsolidated layers sediment = TRANSPORT ENERGY BURIAL WEATHERING/EROSION A B TRANSPORT SOURCE SOURCE DEPOSITION Source-Sink Model of sediment accumulation
SINK probability probabilit that materials are transformed varies with C where human behavior is in sourcesource-sink system AND depositional environment... SINK typology of sedimentary environments glacial l i l sediments transported and deposited by glacial ice ... by wave and tidal processes along coastlines and deltas ... by flowing water (i.e., streams, rivers) ... by standing water (i.e., bogs, ponds, lakes) ... by gravity (i.e., on slopes) ... by water emerging at the ground surface ... by wind coastal alluvial lacustrine colluvial depositional energy and archaeological sites spring sites found in high-energy environments are highmore likely to be predepositionally (and postdepositionally) disturbed aeolian burial of physical remains (begin postdepositional regime) active sediments
units that are in the process of being sedimentary buried stable sediments an example of burial l fb i l sediments that are NOT in the process of being buried are therefore in the process of weathering
sedimentary p y particles are being broken down by g y physical, chemical and biotic agents materials accumulate on a stable land surface (a forming soil) over a period of time then are buried f i il) i d f i h b i d by renewed active sedimentation soil formation is the outcome of weathering of stable sediments burial of archaeological materials Where is pre/postdep transformation more severe? postdepositional processes physical/mechanical forces that destroy or mix yp sedimentary particles
gravity, sediment compaction, faulting chemical reactions that ... groundwater dissolution (pH, rate of flow) biotic
burial in active sediments agents (organisms) that physically and chemically ...
burrowing, excavating, consumption g, g, p cultural
be aware of the various ways that archaeological materials can be incorporated into soil and sedimentary units agents that physically and chemically... chemically context = a consideration of the sedimentary matrix, 3D provenience and associations between i i d i i b artifacts, ecofacts and features to determine the ff f f i l d behavioral effects of transformational and b h i l processes primary context = locations of and associations between physical l ti f d i ti b t h i l remains of past behavior have not been altered from those established when they "exited" systemic y y context does not mean that everything is perfectly preserved true primary context is very rare i i secondary context = locations of and associations between physical remains of past behavior have been altered since they "exited" systemic context
most physical remains are to one degree or another in secondary context d t t cannot jump directly to a reconstruction of behavior ...
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- Spring '07
- Archaeology, Sediment, Archaeological Record, land surface