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The Dimensions of Archaeology: Time, Space, and Form

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Chapter 9 The Dimensions of Archaeology: Time, Space, and Form Outline After the Excavation: Conservation and Cataloging Archaeological Classification Space-Time ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Dimensions of Archaeology: Time, Space, and Form


1
Chapter 9
  • The Dimensions of Archaeology Time, Space, and
    Form

2
Outline
  • After the Excavation Conservation and Cataloging
  • Archaeological Classification
  • Space-Time Systematics
  • Conclusion Space-Time Systematics and
    Archaeological Objectives

3
Patterns Time and Space
  • Archaeologists document patterns in how material
    culture changes through time and across space.
  • Organizing data into meaningful patterns is vital
    to the field of archaeology.

4
After the Excavation Conservation and Cataloging
  • As a rule of thumb, for every week spent
    excavating, archaeologists spend 3 to 5 weeks or
    more cleaning, conserving, and cataloging the
    finds.
  • Cataloging is essential.
  • Without the catalog, provenience is lost, and
    without provenience an artifacts value to future
    researchers is greatly reduced.

5
Typology
  • Classification of artifacts into types.
  • Archaeologys basic unit of classification is
    termed a type.
  • Types are abstractions imposed by the
    archaeologist on a variable batch of artifacts.
  • We formulate a classification with a specific
    purpose in mind.

6
Three Major Types of Types
  • Morphological - A descriptive grouping of
    artifacts whose focus is on similarity rather
    than function or chronological significance.
  • Temporal types are morphological types that have
    specific chronological meaning for a particular
    region.
  • Functional types reflect how objects were used in
    the past.

7
Two Prehistoric Stone Disks Excavated from
Ventana Cave
8
Doing Typology
  • A good typology possesses two crucial
    characteristics
  • Minimize the differences within each created type
    and maximize the differences between each type.
  • The typology must be objective and explicit. This
    means that the result should be replicable by any
    trained observer.

9
A Great Basin Projectile Point and Some Data
Recorded From It
10
Attribute
  • A characteristic that distinguishes one artifact
    from another based on
  • Size
  • Surface texture
  • Form
  • Material
  • Method of manufacture
  • Design pattern

11
Relationship between Attributes of Weight and
Proximal Shoulder Angle for the Great Basin
Projectile Points
12
Mousterian
  • A culture from the Middle Paleolithic (Middle
    Old Stone Age) period that appeared throughout
    Europe after 250,000 and before 30,000 years ago.
  • Mousterian artifacts are frequently associated
    with Neanderthal human remains.

13
Projectile Point Key Central Great Basin
14
North American Culture Areas
15
Southwestern Archaeological Cultures, or
Traditions
16
Phase
  • A block of time that is characterized by one or
    more distinctive artifact types.
  • Example a particular kind of pottery, housing
    style, and/or projectile point
  • Phases are defined by temporal types, items of
    material culture that show patterned changes over
    time.

17
Assemblages and Components
  • Archaeological sites consist of assemblages,
    collections of artifacts recovered from some unit
    of provenience.
  • We might then cluster these assemblages into
    components.
  • A component is considered a culturally
    homogeneous unit within a single site.

18
Relationship of Archaeological Sites to Concepts
of Component and Phase
19
Time-space Systematics
20
Quick Quiz
21
  • 1. Cataloging is essential, because
  • archaeologists spend so much time on this process
  • without this step, data would decay
  • without the catalog, provenience is lost
  • All of the above.

22
Answer C
  • Cataloging is essential because without the
    catalog, provenience is lost.
  • Without provenience an artifacts value to future
    researchers is greatly reduced.

23
  • 2. ______ is the classification of artifacts into
    types.

24
Answer typology
  • Typology is the classification of artifacts into
    types.

25
  • 3. Archaeological sites consist of ________,
    collections of artifacts recovered from some unit
    of provenience, that are then clustered into
    _______.

26
Answer assemblages, components
  • Archaeological sites consist of assemblages,
    collections of artifacts recovered from some unit
    of provenience, that are then clustered into
    components
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