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aaaaANP 203

Midterm

TermDefinition
Nabonidus Looked for physical evidence of the past
Herodotus First Historian, examined the past through text and artifacts, didn't excavate
Jacques Boucher de Perthes Found ancient axe heads and stone tools with mammoth bones. Helped come up with the concept of deep time
Jens Jacob Asmussen Woraae First professional Archaeologist. Cared about artifact context
Giovanni Battista Belzoni Early Antiquarian. Very famous and accomplished looter in Egypt
Alfred Vincent Kiddler Early figure of Professional Archaeology. Was the first to show meaning could be derived by the decorations on potsherds. Established framework of southwestern prehistory
Vere Gordon Childe Known as the "great synthesizer" for his work in synthesizing regional research into a broader picture of Near Eastern and European prehistory
Nels Nelson Worked on refining the stratigraphic methodology of the 19th century
Lewis R. Binford Changed the field of Archaeology with the introduction of processual archaeology, also known as New Archaeology
Ian Hodder Pioneer of postprocessualist theory in archaeology
Archaeology The study of past cultures through their physical remains
Antropology and its Sub-fields The science of human cultural and biological variation and evolution. 1. Cultural Anthropology 2. Archaeology 3. Linguistic Anthropology 4. Biological Anthropology
Stratigraphy The analysis of the order and position of layers of archaeological remains. The structure of a particular set of strata.
Culture Learned Behavior
Artifact An object made by a human being, typically an item of cultural or historical interest.
Ecofact Natural objects found with artifacts or features such as big horn sheep bones, charcoal, plants, and pollen.
Feature Distinguished from artifacts in that they cannot be separated from their location without changing their form. Examples include pits, walls, ditches
Site Place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric or historic or contemporary), and which has been, or may be, investigated
Provenience The precise location where an artifact or archaeological sample was recovered archaeologically
Provenance The detailed history of where an artifact has been since its creation
Context Events in time which have been preserved
In Situ An artifact that has not been moved from its original place of deposition.
Taphonomy Defining and describing evidence of human use of plants and animals, separating out natural processes from cultural ones
Ethnoarchaeology The ethnographic study of peoples for archaeological reasons, usually through the study of the material remains of a society
Experimental Archaeology Field of study which attempts to generate and test archaeological hypotheses, usually by replicating or approximating the feasibility of ancient cultures performing various tasks or feats.
Datum Point The point on an archaeological site from which all measurements of level and contour are taken.
Law of Superposition The principle that states that in any pile of sedimentary rocks that have not been disturbed by folding or overturning, the strata on the bottom will have been deposited first.
Deep Time The recognition that life was far more ancient than biblical scholars recognized
Scientific Method A method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.
Levels of Theory 1. Low-Level: Describe Data 2. Middle-Level: Describe Function 3. High-Level: Explanation 4. Postprocessual Critique: Explain
Levels of Excavation (Natural vs. Arbitrary) 1. Natural: Excavation units corresponding to levels defined by stratigraphy 2. Arbitrary: The basic vertical subdivision of an excavation unit, when natural layers of stratification are lacking or not easily recognizable.
Formation Processes 1. Natural: Natural or environmental events which govern the burial and survival of the archaeological record 2. Cultural: The deliberate or accidental activities of humans
Cultural Disturbance Processes Any human behavior that modifies artifacts in their archaeological context, e.g. digging canas, hearths, houses, etc.
Reuse and Reclamation Processes 1. Reuse: Any human behavior that recycles and resuses artifacts before the artifact enters an archaeological context 2. Reclamation: The transition of cultural materials from the archaeological record back into the systemic context
Absolute vs. Relative Dating Methods 1. Absolute: Age with reference to measurable physical and chemical qualities or historical associations such as coins and written records 2. Relative: Phases or objects that can be put into a sequence relative to each other
Diagnostic Artifacts An item that is indicative of a particular time period and/or cultural group.
Seriation Relative dating method in which assemblages or artifacts from numerous sites, in the same culture, are placed in chronological order.
Dendrochronology An absolute chronometric dating technique for measuring time intervals and dating events and environmental changes by reading and dating the pattern (number and condition) of annual rings formed in the trunks of trees.
Radiocarbon Dating An absolute radiometric dating technique for determining the age of carbon-bearing minerals, including wood and plant remains, charcoal, bone, peat, and calcium carbonate shell back to about 50,000 bp.
Thermoluminescence (Trapped Charge Dating) Chronometric method of dating ceramic materials by measuring the stored energy created when they were first fired.
Optically Stimulated Luminescence (Trapped Charge Dating) A method of using a laser to attempt to date ceramic vessels and burned hearths.
Electron Spin Resonance (Trapped Charge Dating) A dating method using the residual effects of electrons' changing energy levels under natural irradiation of alpha, beta, and gamma rays.
Old Wood/Heirloom Problem Problem with radiocarbon dating. A sample will provide misleading or confusing results if materials of different ages are deposited in the same context.
Typology The study of classes with common characteristics; classification of artifacts; the systematic classification of artifacts or remains according to type, i.e. form and decoration. First step in archaeological analysis
Space-Time Systematics An attempt to delineate patterns in material culture over time and space
Morphological Type A descriptive and abstract grouping of individual artifacts whose focus is on overall similarity rather than specific form or function.
Temporal Type A morphological (structure, form) type that has been shown to have temporal significance.
Functional Type Classification based on cultural use or function rather than on outward form or chronological position.
Folk Type Classification based on use depicted in folk lore
Attribute A distinct, individual characteristic of an artifact that cannot be further subdivided and distinguishes it from another.
Period Any specific interval of time in the archaeological record, such as the Upper Paleolithic period.
Phase A term generally referring to an archaeological unit defined by artifacts and cultural traits that distinguish it from other units.
Assemblage A group of objects of different or similar types found in close association with each other and thus considered to be the product of one people from one period of time.
Uniformitarianism A fundamental philosophy of geologic science, the principle that the earth was formed by the same natural geological processes that are still going on today.
Formal Analogy Any analogy justified by similarities in the formal attributes of archaeological and ethnographic objects and features
Relational analogy Any analogy justified on the basis of close cultural continuity between the archaeological and ethnographic cases
Cultural Continuity The persistence of cultural elements through time.
Judgmental Statistical Sampling Judgmental sampling is a non-probability sampling technique where the researcher selects units to be sampled based on their knowledge and professional judgment.
Random Statistical Sampling A subset of individuals (a sample) chosen from a larger set (a population).
Stratified Statistical Sampling Process of dividing members of the population into homogeneous subgroups before sampling. The strata should be mutually exclusive: every element in the population must be assigned to only one stratum.
Systematic Statistical Sampling In systematic random sampling, the researcher first randomly picks the first item or subject from the population. Then, the researcher will select each n'th subject from the list.
Aerial Survey An important survey technique for locating and defining archaeological sites from the air.
Shovel Testing Survey Technique using shovels to quickly determine the density and distribution of archaeological remains. Samples of soil from carefully selected test pits that are sieved for artifacts. Shovel-sized sample taken at various intervals across a site.
Field Walking Survey Systematic exploration of an area by a team of investigators, walking, collecting, and recording surface artifacts or noting earthworks and other phenomena.
Ground Penetrating Radar Survey A remote sensing device used in subsurface detection that transmits a radar pulse into the soil and records differential reflection of the pulses from buried strata and features.
Soil Resistivity Survey A remote sensing technique that monitors the degree of electrical resistance in soils -- which often depends on moisture content -- near the surface. Buried features are usually detected by a differential retention of groundwater.
Magnetometry Survey Detecting buried remains through magnetic variations between them and the surrounding soil.
Dry Screening The sieving of excavated soil and sediment through (usually) 1/4-inch mesh, to recover artifacts not found in excavation.
Water Sifting The application of water under pressure to force sediments through screens.
Flotation A technique developed to assist in the recovery of plant, insect, and molluscan remains from archaeological deposits; a method of screening in which minute pieces of flora are separated from the soil by agitation with water.
Antiquarian People who were fascinated by ancient objects but who rarely used those objects to reconstruct the past
Culture-History Emphasis on defining historical societies into distinct ethnic and cultural groupings according to their material culture.
Processual/New Archaeology A movement which began in America in the 1960s, aimed at making archaeology more scientific, now more often called processual archaeology
Post-Processual A relatively new school of archaeological thinking that uses the ideational strategy and cautions against the shortcomings of scientific methods and the new (or processual) archaeology.
Created by: Bishxc