Archaeology Test 1 Ch. 1

Archaeology Chapter 1, 2, 4, 5 Test. Chapter 1. 
Changes are done, please view the flashcard.

Preview Flashcards

What is Archaeology?
The study of physical and cultural remains of past people- typically covers what written history lacks.
"That complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, art, law, morals, customs and other capabilities and habits acquired by members of society." (Tylor)
Shared traits, beliefs, values and customs over generation to generation.
a. What are the goals of archaeology? Which goals are the most challenging and why in your estimation?
- To recover and preserve material remains-Document patterned relationships-To reconstruct past lifeways (cultures of the past)-To establish cultural chronologies----come up with cultural histories, the chronological arrangement of the time phases/events of a particular culture. -To interpret and explain sequences of events. ---analyze cultural processes (use sequence of events)- The goals that are the most challenging are interpreting (from whatever information you have) the cultural processes of that society, and how they lived in that time. Also, how they changed over time and what happened to them. How they realllllly lived.
Everyday cultural customs and practices---ways of living. (Do this through ethnographic research.)
A careful, accurate description of cultures. (What they see.)
4 subfields
1. Cultural Anthropology (Ethnology)2. Archaeology 3. Physical Anthropology4. Linguistic (Cognitive anthro.)
Anthropology and its relationship to archaeology
Anthropology rests on the idea that human behavior can be scientifically studied in spite of complexities in human experience. -Archaeology strives to show us how cultures rise and fell,adapted, survived and declined over time.
- need to understand how living cultures function.
Cross Cultural Study
Both arch. and anthro. are cross cultural studies.
-can look and compare cultures from other sides of the world.-Arch. uses ethnographic analogies. (use of material and non material aspects of a living culture to form models to test interpretations of archaeological remains.) to connect to cultures of past/present.
What arch. is NOT.
-paleontology-Most things on history channel-Anything in movies
Old world vs. new world archaeology
-The old world is what was known to Europeans before Columbus. (ie Europe, Africa, Asia and smaller land masses and islands)-The New world is everything discovered after Columbus.

Anthropological Archaeology
Centered on culture----look at how people live as opposed to historical documents.
Study of original documents describing the past, such as those written by travelers, explorers and missionaries.
Focus on study of Ancient Rome/Greece - Learn latin/greek
Historical Anthropology
Study of remains of cultures. --Could be as recent as 10-20 years ago.
-Civil war, colonial and medieval arch. also count.
Any object produced/altered by humans.
Ecological (floral, faunal, geophysical)-Natural remains of plants and animals.
Any highly localized area of human use or modifications (Pyramids)
Site and Site Layout
- A Site is an isolated area of concentrated archaeological remains.
-Site layout is the locations and spatial interrelations of artifacts, features, activity area, and remains of structures of a site.
Recognizable characteristic/quality of an artifact.
Whole set of artifacts representing material culture inventory or repertoire in a cultural setting.
Settlement Pattern
Distribution of archaeology sites near the landscape.
Settlement System
Sites in a particular region during a particular period of time, and their social, economic and political interrelations.
Middle Range Theory
Theory you use to operate/study before you can use it.
-Ideas and concepts archaeologists use to reconstruct the behaviors that have resulted in material culture record.

The systematic study of the physical or material world seeking to discover and formalize general laws through testing hypotheses and careful observation of results.
The rebirth of European intellectual curiosity about the natural world and the role of humans in it. Originating in the 14th century in Italy and spreading throughout Europe. Changing social, economical and and political conditions.
Proper term for the systematic and comparative study of culture, including both modern and past cultures.
Ethnographic study
The study of cultural characteristics of a particular ethnic or social group.
Material Remains
Physical remnants of a past society including ecofacts, artifacts, features architecture and the ways these are distributed.
Historical Archaeology
study of the remains of culture for which historical documents are available.
Ethnoarchaeology and the Nunamiut Eskimos (chpt.2)
study of the observable dynamic behavior of living people in order to develop models to interpret archaeological remains. -nunamiut eskimos: can help us study the relationships among culture, behavior and the archaeological record. -Lewis Binford: Noticed considerable variation marked the assemblages, especially in terms of which parts of the animals were included. -Two main hypotheses: One was that variations reflected meaningful cultural differences, that people of different cultures with differing ways of killing and processing animals were responsible for different assemblages. -The second hypotheses was that the assemblages were produced by people sharing the same culture but that people behaved very flexibly, adapting situationally to a wide variety of particular circumstances such as the size and composition of the work groups, the season of the year, and the distances that hunters and other workers must travel. Each assemblage may thus have highly unique characteristics. -To test these ideas Binford and his colleagues studied a small community of modern Nunamiut Eskimos that still heavily depend on hunted food and consequently produce bone assemblages. They also share the same basic culture.-All aspects were recorded: What animals were hunted and how, butchering and transporting of the kills; processing and use of meat, hides and other animal parts-Observations made over a course of a year-Binford found that even though the Nunamiut shared same basic culture and did same general kinds of things, they produced bone assemblages showing great variation.-These data support second hypotheses. -Basic lesson here is that individual and groups behave very flexibly, depending on a variety of immediate everyday circumstances, and not according to some preprogrammed set of rules for which they must conform.-Much of the variation produced in the arch. record is produced by wide range of human behavioral patterns. -The present proved to be a rich guide for understanding the past. -Basicallllly don't generalize......
Study and interpretation of ancient inscriptions.
illustrations based on stylized symbolic forms or icons. Also the study and interpretation of such images.
Ethnographic Analogy
use of material and nonmaterial aspects of a living culture to form models to test interpretations of archaeological remains.
An object's setting in time and place, and its affinity to other things.
Spatial context
location of an object and its spatial relation to other objects found in archaeological record
Temporal context
Age/date of an object and its temporal relation to other objects in the arch. record.
Formal context
Affinity of an object to a general class of objects sharing general characteristics of form.
Site Formation Process
Natural and cultural processes or transformations that have in combination with each other, produced archaeological sites.
Relative Age
chronological relationships among relatively younger and older things, even though no actual dates are available.
Absolute Age
amount of time elapsed since an object was made or used.
Radiocarbon Dating
absolute dating method developed by Libby, which determines the absolute age of an organic object by measuring the amount of decay of radioactive Carbon.
Piece of broken pottery vessel.
Culture history
the chronological arrangement of the time phases and events of a particular culture.
Cultural Processes
sets of interrelated changes occurring through time, operating very broadly in geographical social and temporal terms over the course of a culture's history.
Cultural Ecology
theoretical perspective that culture and environment interact dynamically. a program for analyzing cultures, based on understanding adaption to the environment.
Technoeconomic organization
The way energy and materials are produced, distributed and consumed.
Social organization
the way relationships among the members of a culture are structured, and how much differentiation exists.
Political Organization
the way in which a society is organized to make and enforce political decisions and to resolve conflict within the social setting and between societies.
Belief system of a particular society including values and ethics.
-actually good for archaeologists- Mt. vesuvius erupts in 79AD covering entire town. -Pumice and ash kept remains safe, awaiting discovery in 1594.

mineralized traces/impressions of an organism.
-majority of organisms don't leave behind fossils. -fossilization most apt to occur amongst marine animals.
study of process of fossilization
Bog or peat is very good at preserving organic remains by pickling them.
both naturally occurring and man-man made.
Environmental Setting
influence social groups and associate cultures. Environment plays a huge role for the formation of the site.
-Oldest layers of strata are deepest. -newest layers on top-defining chronology can be difficult as natural phenomena can shift position of layers.
Environmental Archaeology
people build for their environment.-looks at past civilizations built.
Social and political organization.
Cultural Evolution (Film)
Cultural evolution is when a society goes from simple to complex , and changes to inter-dependence. (Ex: Hunter gatherers to agriculture.)

Upgrade and get a lot more done!