32402f03 - Introduction to Archaeology: Class 3 What we...

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Introduction to Archaeology: Class 3 What we want to learn - and how Copyright Bruce Owen 2002 A little more on what archaeology is • Archaeology is generally defined either by its data or by its goals Defined by data: Archaeology is the study of the material remains of, and related to, past human activities. artifacts, buildings, food garbage, burials, etc. One of the main things that distinguishes this view of archaeology from antiquarianism and art history is that archaeologists emphasize studying these material remains in context Context or association: the relationships between objects, and between objects and their surroundings Thomas emphasized this on the first page of Chapter 1. Many types of context: stratigraphic, spatial or geographic distribution, chronological, statistical association, etc. Defined by goals: Archaeology is the extension of anthropology into the past, using mostly material remains as evidence. (some kinds of non-material evidence that help include glottochronology, ethnohistory, mythology, etc.; ancient written texts are both material and not…) This begs the question of what anthropology is: a subject hotly disputed right now by anthropologists. literally, anthropology is the study of humankind this is part of the thrust of Thomas's chapter 2: to understand Americanist archaeology, you have to understand a little about anthropology's approach to the world The anthropological approach Thomas's examples of anthropologists: Richard Leakey, Jane Goodall, Don Johanson, maybe Steven Jay Gould. Who are these people? 4 generally recognized subfields of anthropology: biological (or physical) cultural linguistic archaeological shared anthropological outlook holistic: to understand humans and society, you must consider biology, ecology, culture (what's that??), language, politics… especially "culture" everyone disagrees about what culture is (but we all "know it when we see it") a very rough gloss: knowledge, beliefs, myths, aesthetics, technology, language, social rules, etc. that people learn and that structure their lives emic vs. etic approaches to studying people: emic
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Introduction to Archaeology F 2002 / Owen: What we want to learn - and how p. 2 from "phonemic" in linguistics: phonemes are the minimal units of sound that speakers recognize people who speak different languages discern different phonemes English speakers hear "v" and "b" as different; Spanish speakers have a hard time distinguishing them Chinese speakers distinguish different phonemes by pitch; English speakers don't but the speakers are aware of and can explain the differences between their phonemes so the "emic" approach is that which emphasizes the speaker's (or culture member's) understanding how they explain what they are doing and why etic from "phonetic" in linguistics: phonetics is the study of language sounds based on detailed knowledge of how they are produced, using complex notations and specialized techniques
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32402f03 - Introduction to Archaeology: Class 3 What we...

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