Archaeology Flashcards

Terms Definitions
northern Mesopotamia
Aztec tribal god
Neolithic revolution
agriculture(V.G Childe)
nonportable evidence of technology
David Anderson
University of Tennessee
Relative dating
Establishes chronological relationships between site and cultures. NO NUMBER. "this is older than that"
objects made by human beings
________is the kinship for pastoralism.
the overarching framework, often unstated, for understanding a research problem
Mohenjo Daro
Largest Harappan village
40,000 people, 150 hectaires
Earliest sewage system
City divided by professions
Great Baths
To circle around something completely.
____ artifacts are frequently associated with Neanderthal human remains.
Star Child
Alien-human hybrid
Male, with human DNA
Hydrocephalic child
Charles Darwin
1859; evolution by natural selection
urban agglomeration with a population of 10,000 or more, interal differentiation, and disctinct civic or ceremonial areas within its boundaries
form of scientific dating, tree-ring dating- used to date wooden objects.
Ephraim Squier and Edwin Davis discovered mounds in the Eastern U.S. in 1848. They are the authors of Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi valley. It was the first book published by the smithsonnian in 1848. It was a good transformation form the speculati
in archaeology, the systematic digging of an area of ground to recover the archaeological record
Stuff directly around the object, almost always dirt
Continental shelf of Southeast Asia during the late Ice Age.
method of determining how old something is by keeping track of the number of layers of soil in which it was found
staying in one place, becoming stationary
Artificial mound created by peoples living.
Neolithic culture of N China characterized by sunken floor dwellings, domesticated pigs, and handmade pottery painted in designs of spirals and circles
Cultural Dating
gathering information from a known cultural source and comparing it to an unknown object in order to determine its approximate age
concept which views our knowledge of the past as a continual process of interpretation
Corers are hollow tubes that are driven into the ground
Stylistic variables
style varies often, changes quickly-- good to tell time periods Ex: paint color, design, decoration
Historical Context
History about the specific site itself
dates pottery by reheating the object, releasing radiation. The light is measures and reveals when the pottery was constructed
a geographic location of the remains of past human activity
200 BC-1400 AD, Mali, trade across Sahara w/ camels
material culture
tangible, surviving evidence of human activities
american culture
lag from english, stylistic and behavioral changes
Post-Processual Archaeology
explanation formulated in reaction to the perceived limitations of processual archaeology, eschews generalization in favor of an "individualizing" approach that is influenced by structuralism, Critical Theory, and neo-Marxist thought
formal analogies
Analogies justified by similarities in the formal attributes of archaeological and ethnographic objects and features.
Kennewick Man
Skeletal remains found at Kennewick Washington
Kennewick Man"
Skeletal analysis = unlike modern
native Americans
C14 dating = 8,400 years old
DNA = Ainu SE Asia
Something that is very dangerous, it can kill you
target event?
the event you want to date.
an artifact that tells you something about the time period in which it was created
A sign of osteoarthritis in which bones develop a distinct “lipping” of bone at the point of articulation (e.g., at elbow or knee)
Culture-historical Archaeology
The view that the record is incomplete, we need to build sequences of cultures for the whole world. Emphasis on typology and time-space systematics.
stone domed burial (looks like a giant bee hive)
Port on the Persian Gulf used for transshipments between Mesopotamia and the Indus valley.
the use of fluid suspension to recover tiny burned plant remains and bone fragments from archaeological sites
Agriculture developed due to________-
population increase
more people than carrying capacity in foraging societies
Fell in 1521, city that was occupied by the Mexica, capitol of the Aztecs
Lived in Europe and Near East: 200,000 -30,000 BP; Middle Palaeolithic Technology: 120,000 -40,000 BP
Chappelle Oaux Saints
France Neanderthal site where old DISABLED man (had arthritis, bad jaw, couldn't walk anymore) was found--evidence of CARING for
A method of dating wood, tree ring dating. It is the oldest method of scientific dating.
Electrical Resistivity
earth resistance survey; a method of subsurface detection which measures changes in conductivity by passing electrical current through ground soils; this is generally a consequence of moisture content, and in this way, buried features can be detected by differential retention of groundwater
faunal assemblage
The animal remains recovered from an archaeological site.
A hominin genus that lived in Africa between 4 M and 2.5M years ago
Small grans of silica that form inside plant stems, are less sensitive indicators of plants on a site, but can demonstrate which plant stems (as opposed to seeds) were present on a site
arbitrary level
The basic vertical subdivision of an excavation square; used only when easily recognizable “natural” strata are lacking and when natural strata are more than 10 centimeters thick.
(Elamite Settlements & Trade)
Tepe Yahya:
-A rural community situated to take advantage of trade networks & a local source of chlorite *steatite or soapstone), the latter being manufactured into highly desireable trade bowls.
-Chlorite bowls and tools have beenfound from Mesopotamia, Persian Gulf & Iranian Plateau to the Indus Valley.
A skeletal collection of modern fauna of both sexes and different ages used to ID archaeological fauna
comparative bones
water spritzer
used to lightly spray water on areas so soil diff. and features show up better, making easier to be graphed
Provenience- ___ ____ where an ____ was found
exact location, object
systematics- biology and archaeology
In Biology, systematics is understood as a focus on order arising from phylogenetic relationships.
In archaeology, systematics refers to classificatory frameworks expressing cultural affinity in space and time.
Black Legend
idea that Spanish only came here to take what they want and leave
increased TRADE and interactions btw ppl
What did Blombos signifiy?
ideas that people hold dear and try to live by
Hafted Maul
a oval-shaped stone with a groove for attaching to a wooden handle and used like a modern-day hammer.
Southern Cult (definition, symbols)
-widespread set of symbols appearing in trade,pottery copper shell-themes: anvestors, fertility, war-eye in hand sun burst weeping eye skull and bones trophy heads
a wild grass found in the highlands of Mexico; the wild ancestor of maize
Example: A series of artifacts are extracted from a strata/level/feature in an excavation that has been dated to a specific time period
Indirect Absolute dating
cryoturbations- the ____ of_____ _____ due to the ____ and ____ of the ____ that ____ them
distrubance, arch remains, freezing, thawing, matrix, contains
test squares
smaller pits that are used to expose a limited part of the site, provides a horiziontal (plan) and vertical (profile) view of the site, recording is important cause you destroy as you go down
sciatic notch
the angled edge of both halves of the posterior (rear) side of the pelvis; measurement of this angle is used to determine sex in human skeletons. Narrow notches indicate a male and wider notches indicate a female.
A METHOD for making stone tools...?
Levalloisian (distinctive type of stone knapping developed by humans during the Palaeolithic period.)
how does one inventory?
document the numbers and types of remains recovered from a site.
Tennessee Division of Archaeology - created in 1970; legislatively mandated (what does that mean)
- Established by Tennessee Legislation in 1970
- covers all human remains
James Hutton and the Principle of Uniformatarism
Influences the prominence of Archaeology through this idea of the Principle of Uniformatiarism
He studies how the earth came to be the way it is. He starts studing the grand canyon, and how these places changed. Came up with the idea of Catastrophies. Everything that happened in the past are the same geological processies that are happening today. Aka.. geology repeats itself!
Where was Pompeii?
It was in Italy, near Rome, on the Bay of Naples
What the ice preserved on Otzi
Preserved wood, air. Could even tell that he had a haircut from loose hairs on clothes. Little booties stuffed with grass to keep feet warm. Carried around an entire medicine chest!
What is the focus of historical archaeology?
It is the archaeology of the everyday.
When did the volcanoe erupt and how many people died?
It happened at noon on august 24th 79 C.E. AD, 16000 people died.
"Rodent hole"
western philosophical revolution
still in existance
non-artificial organic and environmental remains, which may or may not have been modified by human action (pollen)
classification of archaeological types
Minimum number of individuals
Rulers consolidated control, converted offices into ones of kingship
Craftsmen, scribes, and peasants were required to perform services for king, military, and civil conscription
Position of Dead____________
Bundle: foraging societies
Animal bones in archaelogical sites
Craft specialization
Complex societies
Artisans/priests are their own class
Restrictive mobility of classes
Commoners live in urban dwellings
Homo habilis
"Handy Man"Age: 2.3-1.6myaBrain: average 612 cc (509-674 cc)-Stone tool user-Bipedal-Foot and hand: climber (sleeping trees)
Mezhirich, Ukraine
15,000 - 14,000 BP

-elaborate design
- seasonal occupation
- long distance trade
Willard Libby
Discovered radio-carbon dating in 1960
Multiple Regions
Desert - bisected by River
Puna Valleys
Cloud Forest
systematic, scientific study of human past based on investigation of material culture & its context
cultural transformation
modification of the archaeological record caused by human activity
Adena/Hopewell mound dates
2300 to 1400 ya
Shang Dynasty
1,766-1,122 BC, piece-mold casting, Ao, An-Yang
Historical Archaeology, is it a Handmaiden to History?
the study of ancient demographic patterns and trends
Grotte Chauvet
cave paintings, 30k years ago
Collection Management
Air Abrasive- treating and stabilizing. Maintaining the structure to preserve object as a whole. When run out of storage space, put back into ground. Archives, files and computer information. Drawings, photos and maps. Supplies and equipment, archaeology reports and library. EVERYTHING IN THE LAB
Traced evolution of each Mousterian tool and how it formed: STYLES of different groups were based on culture of that group
places where archaeologists dig to search for ancient artifacts, buildings, and cities
Kitchen Midden
rubbish from the past that archaeologists use to learn about a culture
the wooden wall with slot trenches that surrounded the Kershaw property. It led early archaeologists to study how the town's fortifications played a role in the American Revolution. Strickland studied both the area inside and outside of the palisade to determine the spatial extent of the Kershaw house. The town palisade was a defensive wall surrounding the colonial town and marked the boundaries of the settlement. Lewis reasoned that the town palisade line could effectively separate the area of future of archaeological study.
All industries in which artifacts are modeled or molded from clay and then made durable by firing
Templo Mayor
Dedicated to the gods Huitzilopochtli, god of war, and Tlaloc, god of rain and agriculture
Critical Archaeology
Attempts to examine expressions of political ideology in the archaeological record
Aerial survey
usually by photography, can reveal buried architecture, patterns of vegetation
Grid Origin
The intersection of the North/South and East/West baselines.
Greek writing
1,600-1,100 BC, Linear A & B
Mousterian Tradition
advanced tool making technique: chip off thin flakes, flakes are diff. shapes (implies tools used for SPECIALIZED purpose)
purpose of classification
create classes for assembling phenomena for comparisson and hypothesis testing.
Elgin Marbles
collection of classical greek marble sculptures, originally a part of the Parthenon
oasis theory
associated with Vere Gordon Childe
at the end of the Pleistocene there was significant drying so occupiable areas for all kingdoms were clustered around well-watered oases and river valleys
Mousterian is a name given by archaeologists to a style of predominantly flint tools (or industry) associated primarily with Homo neanderthalensis and dating to the Middle Paleolithic, the middle part of the Old Stone Age. ...
The study of the human biological component evident in the archaeological record; it examines the health and workload of ancient populations. This specialty requires expertise in the method and theory of both biological anthropology and field archaeology
Evidence 4 Cannibalism?
1. remains not treated respectfully.
2. separation of bones at their joints.
3. no signs of carnivore scavenging
4. light color of bones & smooth surface suggests stewed or boiled
5. more men eaten than women
a person responsible for caring for and preserving the artifacts
The study of the human biological component evident in the archaeological record
egalitarian societies
societies in which everyone has about equal rank, access to, and power over basic resources
Decapage/Horizontal Exposure
Excavate broad but not deep. Designed to obtain data about spatial variation in residues from the same level
Environmental archaeology- seeks to understand ____ ____ and _____ _____ to it
environmental change, human adaptations
The process of determining the age of an object found.
A collection of artifacts of one or several classes of materials (stone tools, ceramics, bones) that comes from a defined context, such as a site, feature, or stratum
the skulls of men____
usually heavier brow ridge
larger occipital bun
usually more square chin
Marsh Arabs
people of the marshlands in Southern Mesopotamia, they lived in the ancient Sumerian ways. They were well known for making reed dwellings
wiggle matching
a technique for finding precise dates using a series of radiocarbon dates and the irregularities in the calibration curve
muscle attached to back of brain that holds up the head
Linguistic Anthropology -
Focuses on human language: its diversity in grammar, syntax, and lexicon; its historical development; and its relation to a culture's perception of the world.
Otzi/ Ice Man
example of cold preservation, world's oldest fully preserved human body found in Similaun glacier, found in everyday clothing and equipment
primary source
text that tells a first-hand account of an event; original works used when researching (letters, journals)
Ice Free Corridor
A potential migration route for populations expaning out of Breingia, running betwen the Cordilleran and Larentide ice sheets
Neanderthals (6)
Evidence of care for elderly and disabled→Shanidar Cave 1: 40 year old male, blind in his left eye, atrophied right arm, had been amputated, suffered from arthritis-Language Capabilities: ---Surely “spoke”---Probably not as complex as Homo sapiens
living floor
A distinct buried surface on which people lived.
hunters and gatherers/foragers
live predominantly from wild foods, plant foods are usually the mainstay
secondary classification is based on...
...inferred or analytic attributes
focus on any one rung on ladder of culture
Absolute dating
state the date absolutely in terms of today's date
look at what people are doing today to better understand the past
is the common English name of one of the most ancient cities of Upper Egypt, and also of the eight Upper Nome of which it was the capital city, considered one of the most important archaeological sites of Ancient Egypt, the sacred city of Abydos was the site of many ancient temples where early pharaohs were entombed. These tombs began to be seen as extremely significant burials and in later times it became desirable to be buried in the area, leading to the growth of the town's importance as a cult site, this is a burial town and a pilgrimage town.
cultural traits
specific features of a culture such as language, dress, religion, values, and an emphasis on family
homo heidelbergensis
continued use of hand axes. 400 kya. definite control over fire
Hierarchy of settlements (Maya)
-large, medium, & small size settlements, all connected with each other and indicating different levels of government and political organization (Tikal & Uaxactun)
Postmortem trauma
an injury to the skeleton that has been sustained after death
Larsen used ____and _____ to determine workload in an individual’s life
osteoarthritis, bone biomechanics
Nazca Lines
Could not have been made by people - too complex
Thought lines were made by aliens
Dorian Invasion
used as a ploy to talk about what happened during the Dark Ages; invaded Greek city states and kind of rebuilt it; helped set Greece up in 900 (in Dark Ages right before Orientalizing Period)
trapped charge dating
forms of dating that rely upon the fact that electrons become trapped in minerals' crystal lattices as a function of background radiation; the age of the specimen is the total radiation received divided by the annual dose of radiation
Botanical Analysis for Indirect Evidence:
botanical remains are much more susceptible to decay depending on the conditions to which they are exposed. At Danger Cave for example, there is evidence of botanical remains which still grow within 10 miles of the cave. When found within a cave, it can safely be inferred that the plants were gathered and purposefully brought into the cave. There is no strong evidence that the plants were being gathered for food
3 types of unifacial chipped stone tools
scrapers, utilized flakes, gouges/gravers
What is down-the-line trade?
- An exchange system in which goods are traded outward from a source area from group to group, resulting in a steady decline in the item's abundance in archaeological sites farther from the source.
1. People acquire a raw material from people who have immediate access to it.
2. These people trade it to others who live farther away from the source.
3. They may in turn trade
What is Hydrology?
The study of the action and process of water
How is Classification different from Measurement
Variation in properties of an artifact can be either discrete
(differences of kind) or continuous (differences of degree).
Discrete properties are named. Continuous properties are measured.
Classification/Typology requires discrete attributes and
produces discrete units. To the extent that continuous attributes
play a role in classification, it is because continua can be segmented
How did Binford vs. Bordes debate trigger new approaches for making linking arguments?
Archaeologists must debate with each other to come up with the best answer to a question. They both could be right about the stone tools found.
BCE "Before Common Era"
The same as BC, but as with CE, it avoids the religious connotation
What kind of stone is usually used in making ground stone tools?
soft stone or fine to medium grained volcanics and sedimentary types
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