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107 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
4 components of a site
matrix, provenience, association, context
The physical medium that surrounds, holds, and supports the archaeological soil (e.g., soil)
The three dimensional location (horizontal and vertical) position at which the archaeologist finds data
Refers to two or more archaeological items (artifacts, ecofacts, or features) occurring together, usually in the same matrix
Characteristics of archaeological data that result from combined behavioral and transformational processes
The matrix and the provenience of a site have not been disturbed since deposition (en situ)
primary context
The matrix, provenience, and association have been altered, in whole or in part, by transformational processes
secondary context
2 categories of primary context
use related, transposed
2 categories of secondary context
use-related, natural
Archaeologists look for...
patterns in the remains found in order to draw inferences about humans and human behavior
The act of passing from statistical sample data to generalizations
inference relies on 2 factors
spatial clustering, comparisons of functional characteristics
features, artifacts, or ecofacts that are not associated with anything else, and nothing can be said about the behaviors that led to its deposition
isolated finds
Applied archaeology
Using information gathered from a site to apply to contemporary society/a broader audience. Overall goal is to do something that is relevant to today.
____ is/are always done prior to excavation
Need to know whether there’s something there, a type of survey
feasibility study
2 levels of analysis in archaeological survey
region, site
Purpose of surveying region
locate sites, map, determine types
purpose of surveying site is to determine...
size, age, function
A comprehensive search for documentary information regarding the site or region you are interested in
lit review
on the ground inspection of a site or region
Walk or drive along and look at the ground
pedestrian/vehicular survey
Consists of physically removing small soil samples in order to identify archeological sites or the nature of archaeological deposits
subsurface testing
___ is done in areas of high visibility
pedestrian/vehicular survey
___ is done in areas of low visibility
subsurface testing
pedestrian/vehicular survey determines
site locations
subsurface testing determines
size, function, extent of occupation
3 tools used
auger, soil probe, shovel
Methods for identifying difficult to see or completely hidden/buried archaeological remains without physical disturbance
remote sensing
Identify sites from air or space
aerial/satellite remote sensing
satellite imagery primarily used in...
production of large site maps and larger regional mapping
Can penetrate dense cloud cover and penetrate trees, but really only good for IDing large archaeological features
Thumping the ground and listening for acoustic differences
Discerns major variations in the magnetism present in materials found in the ground
Measure the flow of electrical current from one point to another in the ground
Used in the ID of subsurface sites based on the measurement of electromagnetic differences in the ground
ground penetrating radar
Based on assumptions of greater or lesser likelihood
non-probabilistic sampling
Ignores assumptions of greater or lesser likelihood
probabilistic sampling
2 types of grid systems
quadrat, spot
An arbitrary sample unit defined as a square of a specific size
An arbitrary sample unit defined by geographical coordinates
probabilistic sampling based on ______ or ______ systems
arbitrary grid, transect
An arbitrary sample unit defined as a linear corridor of uniform specified width
transect system
Each sample unit has a statistically = chance of selection
simple random sampling
The first sample unit is selected at random, and all other units are selected by a predetermined interval from the first
systematic sampling
In cases where your sample area has a geographic or some other form of physical division, you may choose to separate the area into discrete units based on these divisions and sample each division equally
stratified sampling
The primary means by which the archaeologist gathers data about the past
goals of excavation
to reveal 3-d patterning among things uncovered, to assess significance (functional, temporal) of that pattern
The evaluation of temporal (formation) and depositional (transformation) meaning of observed strata
the observed layering of matrices and features
i. The geological principle that the sequence of observable layers, from bottom to top, reflects the order of deposition, from earliest to latest
law of superposition
In doing stratigraphic analysis you must be concerned with...
...transformational processes
examples of false stratigraphy
tree roots and rodent burrows
The intrusion of one or more archaeological features into pre-existing features
intrusive feature
Occurs as particulates like silt, clay, and dirt settle down out of water
Occurs as particulates are removed either by filtering of water through an already deposited matrix or by flood events that wash the matrix away
Water that flows through the ground
4 sub-types of vertical excavations
test pit, sounding pit, trench, tunnel
vertical excavations reveal ____ and ____ dimensions
vertical, temporal
multiple test pits reveal _____ and _____ dimensions
size, functional
Used primarily to probe depth of sub-surface archaeological deposits at a site
test pit
An initial test pit placed so as to preview what lies beneath the ground
sounding pit
A long narrow excavation
a trench reveals the ____ and _____ dimensions of a site
vertical, horizontal
An excavation that follows buried strata or features along one horizontal dimension
Often used in excavations at large mounds and temples as a means of determining what’s inside without destroying the entire feature
2 types of horixontal excavations
area excavations, stripping excavations
I. Designed to systematically expose the horizontal extent of data while preserving the stratigraphic information in balks left between excavation units
area excavations
horizontal excavations reveal the ____ and ____ dimensions
horizontal, functional
A portion of the matrix left unexcavated at the corners (pillar) or sides (wall) of multiple adjoining excavation units
Same as area excavations except that balks are not preserved
stripping excavations
Fixed intervals (e.g., 5 or 10 cm) that ignore natural or cultural levels
arbitrary levels of soil removal
Excavation levels are defined by naturally formed soil strata
natural levels of soil removal
Excavation levels are defined by strata formed by human activity (midden layers, floors, etc.)
cultural levels of of soil removal
2 types of maps
site map, plan view
A comprehensive overview of the site at any given time
site map
A comprehensive overview of a single excavation unit at any given time
plan view
Comprehensive drawings of the side of an excavation unit
Detailed drawings that document the 3 dimensional placement of artifacts, ecofacts, etc. in an excavation unit
piece plots
Black and white or color photos of excavation units that are meant to supplement plan views and profiles
A set of strategies for arriving at accurate descriptions of the range of archaeological material across a landscape
systematic regional survey
Hunter-gatherers’ pattern of movement between different places on the landscape timed to the seasonal availability of food and other resources
seasonal round
created a map of the seasonal round of the Western Shoshone people
Julian Steward
the distribution of archaeological sites across a region
settlement pattern
the movements and activities reconstructed from a settlement pattern
settlement system
A fist-sized, round, flat, hand-held stone used with a metate for grinding foods
A large, flat stone used as a stationary surface upon which seeds, tubers, and nuts are ground with a mano
the principles that underlie sampling strategies that provide accurate measures of a statistical population
statistical sampling
A set of counts, measurements, or characteristics about which relevant inquiries are to be made
statistical population
define _______ to acquire a statistical sample
statistical population
Observations made on objects
The region that contains the statistical population and that will be sampled. Its size and shape are determined by the research question and practical considerations
sample universe
the percentage of the sample universe that is surveyed.
sample fraction
Areas with a lot of variability in archaeological remains require larger...
...sample fractions
survey units of a standard size and shape, determined by the research question and practical considerations, used to obtain the sample
sample units
gives exact coordinates to any place in the world
UTM grid
A survey universe divided into several sub-universes that are then sampled at potentially different sample fractions
stratified random sample
A conical structure made of poles or logs laid against one another that served as fall and winter homes among the prehistoric Shoshone and Paiute
A unique catalog number given to sites; it consists of a number (the state’s position alphabetically), a letter abbreviation of the county, and the site’s sequential number within the county
Smithsonian number
A geologic process whereby fine sediment is blown away by the wind and larger items (including artifacts) are lowered onto a common surface and thus become recognizable sites
A device that uses a beam of light bounced off a prism to determine an artifact’s provenience
total station
Analysis of archaeological patterns manifested on a scale of kilometers and hectares, rather than of patterns within a single site
non-site archaeology
Focuses on regional patterns of artifacts
non-site archaeology
A computer program for storing, retrieving, analyzing, and displaying cartographic data
geographic information systems
Data that are input to a GIS database using a common mapping reference so that all data can be spatially analyzed
Good predictive model uses...
...fewest number of variables
The study of ancient human modification of the environment
landscape archaeology