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Introduction to Archaeology

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... or assemblage of artifacts known as material remains representing human activity. ... Human activity that affects the archeological record can be: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction to Archaeology


1
Introduction to Archaeology
  • Ch 4 and 5

2
Archaeological Data
  • So what is archaeological data?
  • Archaeological data is any artifact or assemblage
    of artifacts known as material remains
    representing human activity.
  • Matrix, or the physical substance that surrounds
    the material, from natural phenomena or human
    behavior.
  • Human behavior is the first stage in site
    formation, as a major goal if archaeology is to
    reconstruct past human behavior.

3
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4
  • Human activity that affects the archeological
    record can be
  • Discard, or dumping unwanted items (trash)
  • Recycling, or reusing already discarded items
  • Preserving material, keeping items that are held
    sacred such as heirlooms or ceremonial items
  • Destruction, either on purpose or accidental

5
Transformational Processes
  • Two forms of site formation processes are
  • Cultural processes
  • Noncultural processes

6
Environmental Agents
  • The environmental agents are typically grouped
    into chemical, physical, and biological
    categories.
  • Some preserving environments include wet
    conditions, dry conditions, extreme cold
    conditions, and volcanic ash.

7
Wet Conditions
8
Tollund Bog
9
Tollund Man
10
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11
Extreme Cold Conditions
12
Otzi, the 5,300 year old Iceman from the Italiam
Alps
13
Doing Archaeology
  • Archaeologists today must relay on many
    specialty skills, including training in
    administrative, theoretical, technical, and
    writing and analytical skills of various types.

14
  • At this point, we ask the fundamental question
    Is archaeology a science?

15
Science
  • So what do we mean by science, when discussing
    archaeology?
  • Science is the way of acquiring knowledge and
    understanding about parts of the natural world
    that can be measured empirically. The natural
    world is measured empirically by following
    general procedures for acquiring data known as
    the scientific method.

16
  • Scientist establishes facts about the natural
    world by observing by using both
  • Inductive reasoning
  • Deductive reasoning

17
So what is the process of archaeological research?
  • Research Design
  • Data collection
  • Data processing
  • Publication
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