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Archaeological Record. Learning Objectives. Underst and how archaeologists gather information about past cultures. Understand how the archaeological process works, and the ways archaeologists use science to explore how people lived in the past.

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learning objectives
Learning Objectives
  • Understand how archaeologists gather information about past cultures.
  • Understand how the archaeological process works, and the ways archaeologists use science to explore how people lived in the past.
  • Describe how studies of material culture can serve as a form of data to improve knowledge about human behavioral variability in past and contemporary societies
doing archaeology
Doing Archaeology
  • Locating Sites
  • Excavation
  • Dating Techniques
  • Artifact Analysis
  • Site & Regional Synthesis
survey
Survey
  • Physical examination of a geographical region
    • Possible location of site
    • Ground, aerial, GPR, GIS
excavation
Excavation
  • Systematic uncovering of archaeological remains
    • Removal of soil deposits and other materials
interpreting the past
Interpreting the Past
  • Subsistence Strategies
    • Ecological niches
    • Can the environment influence population size?
      • How so?
  • Human Societies
    • Bands, Tribes, Chiefdoms, & States
interpreting the past1
Interpreting the Past

Subsistence Strategies

Food Collectors

Food Producers

Horticulturists

& Agriculturists

Pastoralists

Foragers

Massai

Inuit

Dani

interpreting the past2
Interpreting the Past
  • Human societies
    • Remember Morgan, Radcliffe-Brown, Malinowski, Boas….
  • After WWII
    • Archaeological & ethnographic information
      • Considered:

1. Key points in social change

2. Avoidance of stereotypes & ethnocentrism

interpreting the past social organization
Interpreting the Past: Social Organization
  • Bands: approximately 50 people, egalitarian, generally observed in foraging groups

San ‘Bushman’

Inuit

interpreting the past social organization1
Interpreting the Past: Social Organization
  • Tribes: relatively egalitarian, sometimes a ‘big man’, generally pastoralists & small agricultural societies

Sami

Massai

interpreting the past social organization2
Interpreting the Past: Social Organization
  • Chiefdoms: inequalities to wealth & power, craft production, larger population size
  • States: stratified society, defined territory, governmental institutions
    • Empires: forms when one state conquers another
interpreting the past what are material remains1
Interpreting the Past: What are Material Remains?
  • Artifact
    • Any movable object that has been used, modified, or manufactured by humans
  • Stone, bone, metal tools; beads & other ornaments, pottery, artwork, religious & sacred items
interpreting the past what are material remains2
Interpreting the Past: What are Material Remains?
  • Ecofact
    • Artifacts that convey information on the environment
  • Seeds, animals bones, soil
interpreting the past what are material remains3
Interpreting the Past: What are Material Remains?
  • Midden
    • Refuse deposit resulting from human activities
      • Consists of sediment
  • Food remains & discarded artifacts
interpreting the past what are material remains4
Interpreting the Past: What are Material Remains?
  • Feature
    • Nonmoveablearticles
  • Hearths, pits, or house floors
  • Reveal information on settlement & subsistence
interpreting the past importance of context
Interpreting the Past: Importance of Context
  • An artifact’s context
    • Specific location where it was found
    • How it relates to other artifacts around it
  • Why is context important?
    • Time & space
    • Systemic study of the past in its context