Archaeology Test Questions and Answers Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Why is this class in the anthropology department?
Cultural differences of people in the past
2) Why did I start the class with the Werowocomoco research?
As an example of contemporary archaeological practice
3) What’s one of the research questions motivating the Werowocomoco research?
“Cultural landscape”? Subsistence? Exchange?
4) How did we control time at Werowocomoco (one method)?
Diagnostic artifacts, Radiocarbon dates, Stratified deposits
5) What was the fundamental implication of 19th c. intellectual developments (e.g., uniformitarianism, evolution, historical materialism) for archaeology:
Challenge to theological conception of ancient past
6) Name a key element of processual archaeology as described in class or in chapter 1 of your textbook (a short phrase will suffice):
Rejection of universal laws, scientific methods, objectivity, culture as adaptive
8) Name one of the things mentioned in class to think about in starting archaeology fieldwork:
Conservation ethic, other ethical / legal concerns, research design, questions
9) Why conduct an archaeological survey (give one reason)?
Find sites, understand regional scene
10) In chapter 3 your textbook covers remote sensing techniques, some of which we touched on in class. Name one of these techniques.
Aerial Recon., satellite photography, ground penetrating radar, electrical resistivity, magnetometry
11) What’s one of archaeology’s greatest strengths (as discussed in class)?
Access to large swaths of time / space, ability to recover history outside of documented settings
12) The Jamestown Island tree ring study drew on dendrochronology not to date the site, but to study what? ( a short phrase will suffice)
Climate history
13) What does radiocarbon dating actually date?
Death of the living organism
14) What’s the approximate date for the Clovis horizon?
11,000 bp or 9000 BC
15) What’s one of the criteria for acceptable early sites mentioned in class?
Undeniable artifacts, Indisputable context and association, Valid dates
16) According to Adovasio, how does Meadowcroft meet this particular criterion? (A short phrase will suffice)
Basketry, Precise excavation / documentation, Clear sequence of C14 dates
17) What’s one reason why others are skeptical about Adovasio’s claims? (A short phrase will suffice)
Flora / fauna wrong, Coal contamination, Replication needed
18) How did Adovasio respond to this specific critique? (A short phrase will suffice)
Climate mosaic, No contamination (other dates acceptable), Monte Verde and others
20) What’s the best candidate for replacing the Clovis-first theory?
Coastal migration
5) What is the approximate date for the earliest levels at Meadowcroft
15,000 bp
6) What is archaeology’s “Speculative phase” (Renfrew and Bahn’s term):
9) Post-processual archaeology has emphasized
Gender and power
13) Why do we have to calibrate a radiocarbon date?
Variation in atmospheric C14
3) As discussed in class and in your reading, the social analysis of Moundville focused on:
Burial analysis
7) The central theme of the Polynesian environmental archaeology example was:
Understanding human / environment relationships
11) Culture historians generally explain cultural change in terms of
Migration / diffusion
12) Structuralists generally see cultural change as coming from:
Changes in symbols
13) Shift from pithouse to pueblo in the American Southwest
AD 750
“Social glue”:
Chaco’s pinnacle
AD 1100
18) Chaco’s roads:
Religious links, Economic linkages, Symbolizing directionality, Public works projects
3) The Chesapeake research on maize that we discussed in class started with a question. What was it (roughly – don’t need to get it exact)?
What was the process behind the transition to maize-based horticulture?
4) Jared Diamond’s book Guns Germs and Steel started with a question. What was it (roughly – don’t need to get it exact)?
Why did the West come to dominate much of the rest of the world?
5) We talked about several other areas of research (“-ologies”) under the general heading of environmental archaeology. Name one.
Geomorphology, paleoethnobotany, archaeobotany, zooarchaeology, palynology, taphonomy
6) Are symbols linked to objects and social realities in an arbitrary or a non-arbitrary ways?
They could be linked in either way depending upon the symbol
7) Recent interpretations of Lascaux suggest that the cave may in fact have been a place of:
Shamans, sacred space, or ritual
What might a processualist’s explanation emphasize?
Adaptation, environmental change, law-like developments, systemic responses, problem solving, functionalism
9) Summarize Stuart’s “efficiency” model in a short phrase.
Low pop growth, steady productivity, consumption limited to available resources
10) Summarize Stuart’s “power” model in a short phrase.
Rapid growth in production, population
11) Name one of the new elements that appeared in the archaeological record at the height of the Chaco phenomenon.
Great houses, great kivas, outliers, long-distance trade, road, Pueblo Bonito
12) Is Stuart’s model general or specific (and why is it so)?
: General – can be applied elsewhere
In a short phrase, why does Stuart think Chaco collapsed?
Power dynamic led to overuse of resources, unsustainable inequality such that drought triggered collapse
14) Why was space more important than time for hunter-gatherers in the American Southwest as they adapted to environmental conditions?
Mobility allows hunter-gatherers to move to more productive areas
What’s one of the things in the archaeology indicating that the Anasazi became a “closed” society after Chaco’s collapse?
Walled settlements, cliff dwellings, burned sites, skeletal trauma, isolated settlements, self sufficient settlements
16) Stuart suggests that Anasazi history during its “golden age” offers a useful model for solving problems of modern America. Name one of the elements of this model
Unified/egal. community; Complex / diverse econ; Infrastructure produces necessities; Durable community
1) The discovery of Ardipithecus Ramidus is particularly significant since:
Provides a window into early hominid evolution
2) Why did humans begin to domesticate and produce food?
Improve desirable qualities of plants, Make harvesting easier, Improve yields, Generate a storable surplus
7) What’s NOT associated with the Upper Paleolithic?
13) Earliest city:
How does “hegemony” play a role in the emergence of state societies?
Acceptance of pervasive authority
15) Norman’s research focused on what archaeological site?
1) I suggested that humanity’s beginnings were marked by what sorts of upper Paleolithic activities at Lascaux?
Ritual, ceremony, narrative performance, social gathering
2) What’s one of the fundamental questions regarding the origins of food production?
Why adopted when it was? How was it adopted? Conscious / intentional process? Benefits and drawbacks?
3) Since domestication began independently in several different places at roughly the same time, explanations generally include several factors with global implications. Name one of them.
Envt’l changes? Pop. growth? Improving technologies?
4) We compared Ain Mallaha and Abu Hureya to make the case that the transition to agriculture involved changes in economic relations. Name a difference in these two sites that points toward altered economic relations.
Transition to farming village; Burials beneath house floors; Rectangular houses; Rooms for internal storage;
From sm. compounds of circular houses where entire community is an economic unit with shared storage to lg. villages with rectangular houses where each household is an economic unit (storage within houses)
5) I suggested that the archaeology of the Archaic should include narratives of people actively asserting ideas and identities. What sort of remarkable archaeological site from this period pushes us toward such interpretations?
Mounds; circular village plazas
6) What’s one reason why the archaeological record after domestication and sedentism is so different?
More material; larger settlements; bigger features; social differentiation; permanent leadership
7) We discussed the emergence and collapse of Adena, Hopewell, and Mississippian traditions. Name one similarity across these traditions:
Mound centers, long-distance exchange, elaborate burial ceremony
8) We discussed a sequence preceding urban city-states that included several important developments. Name one of these.
Group labor (Jericho); Densely pop trading communities (Catal Huyuk); Irrigation / ceremonial centers (Eridu); City-states (Uruk); military empire (Akkadian); civil society (Hammurabi)
9) Norman argues that the ditches he studied represented a symbolic invocation of:
Dongbe; serpent
10) The “larger conversations” which surround Norman’s article involve 1) historical archaeology and 2) the archaeology of what:
Landscape; built environment
11) Smith argues that alcohol use among enslaved Africans played a traditional role tied back to uses in Africa. What was its primary role?
Fostering communication with the spirit world
12) Smith joined a “larger conversation” involving cultural “survivals” by suggesting that alcohol use was an example of what historical process within African American communities?
Creolization; braiding or blending of traditions; adaptability of Afro-Atlantic community
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