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32402f01 - Introduction to Archaeology Class 1 Introduction...

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Introduction to Archaeology: Class 1 Introduction Copyright Bruce Owen 2002 Anthropology 324: Introduction to Archaeology I’m Bruce Owen I am an archaeologist who works in Peru; I’ve spent over 5 years there since 1983 I work on the far south coastal region of Peru, from the seashore up to very high elevations Desert, mountains, deep valleys, of which you will see pictures at various times during the course My main interests are in more complex societies, from early farmers through expansive empires The Inka empire, still growing when the Spanish arrived in 1532 The Tiwanaku and Wari states, around AD 500 to 1000 Local chiefdoms that built huge irrigation systems and hilltop fortresses Early farmers who first cultivated the coastal desert and buried their dead under specially built mounds I do survey, excavation, lab analyses of various kinds I get to find sites that no archaeologist has ever visited Dig up stuff that no one has seen since it was buried 500, 1000, even 3500 years ago Pore over artifacts in the lab and sift through computerized data looking for patterns Propose my own stories about what people were doing, what events occurred, how society was organized, how it changed over time, and even why Try to test, refine, and defend my stories using data I have personally gathered As an archaeologist, I get to write my own version of a part of the past An archaeologist gets to add his or her grain of sand to the mountain of knowledge of human societies It beats retail! Archaeology is particularly fun because it involves so many different areas and skills historians, linguists, ethnographers chemists, physicists, geologists, DNA experts botanists, zoologists, anatomists, demographers, pathologists statisticians, database experts, GIS (geographic information systems) experts photographers, illustrators, artists hikers, photographers, mechanics, skilled diggers usually a project has some of these specialists, but archaeologists get to dabble in all of those areas and more I personally find archaeology fascinating, challenging, and fun I hope to convey some of that in this course What the course covers goals, methods, theories, and practice of archaeology
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Introduction to Archaeology F 2002 / Owen: Introduction p. 2 that is, the focus is on the field of archaeology, rather than the results of archaeological research we will see a lot of examples of archaeology, but we will not cover prehistory in any systematic way for that, consider World Prehistory or Emergence of Civilizations by the way, archaeologists study the remains of human activities, not physical evolution per se
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