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104-6.1-geoarchaeology

104-6.1-geoarchaeology - Geoarchaeology Studying Ancient...

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Geoarchaeology Studying Ancient Environments
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Ancient Environments Geology: numerous techniques for studying ancient environments (four main approaches) 1. Petrology : studying characteristics of stone 2. Geomorphology : studying ancient landforms 3. Sedimentology : studying soil processes 4. Climatology : studying ancient climate change
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Petrology How rock changes over time (weathering, erosion) Can help with determining age of material culture Source Areas (where raw materials originated) Thin Section Analysis Looking for characteristic inclusions and crystals Analysis of trade, exchange, social interaction, migration Trace Element Analysis X-Ray fluorescence, Neutron Activation Analysis, etc. Energize sample to stimulate emission of characteristic trace element spectra; can then be tied to a source area
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Thin Section Examples Pottery Stone
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Geomorphology Today’s landscape not always what it was in the past Landscape one factor in determine available resources Plants, animals, stone, etc. Understanding landscape and resources helps us understand what sort of world ancient people lived in Changes in landscape affect archaeological record Patterns of deposition/erosion bury or destroy sites e.g., Glaciation, River Erosion, Flood Deposition
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Geomorphology of Ancient Shorelines
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