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72 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
The accumulated material residues of past human activities and behaviors on the world
archaeological record
2 bodies of theoretical research
constructs, middle-range theory
Portable objects whose form has been modified wholly or in part by human activity
artifacts separated into...
organic, inorganic
Non-artifactual, biological material that has cultural relevence
3 categories of ecofacts
faunal, floral, coprolites
fossilized feces
Non-portable artifacts (made by humans) or their traces
stains are...
A complex feature typically constructed as a focal point or space of a specific activity (e.g., living, working, worshipping)
5 categories of remains
artifacts, ecofacts, features, architecture, human remains
3 types of patterns
sites, regions, activity areas
most common pattern
Spatially discrete locations where there is evidence of past human activity
first define a site...
3 ways besides spatial to define a site
geographic context, function, age
An unprotected location exposed to the elements, can contain sub-surface (not underground) deposits, which are remains that were deposited at the surface and then were buried
open geographic context
A single occupation site with deposits on the surface only
surface geographic context
A site found in an underground location (e.g., a cave)
underground geographic context
Can be description of number of occupations a site was inhabited (single vs. multiple use), can specifically describe the activity (e.g., hunting, pottery manufacture) or general type of site (e.g., village, temple complex)
defining a site functionally
An area bounded by topographic features, an area encompassing a particular culture related by cultural material
Sites where only a specific single activity occurred (e.g., kill site, chipping site)
activity area
How material remains end up in the arch. record
site formation
What happens to the materials from the time they are deposited to the time they are found?
site transformation
Human behavioral processes that result in the deposition of material into the arch. record
cultural processes
Human behavioral processes that result in the deposition of material into the arch. record
aquisition phase of cultural process
The manufacture of the product to be used
manufacture phase of cultural process
Discarding/destroying/abandoning of the artifact, ecofact, or feature at the end of its determined use-life
discard phase of cultural process
discard phase can occur during
acquisition, manufacture, or use
loss can occur during...
...acquisition, manufacture, or use
2 main types of transformational processes
natural, cultural
3 types of natural transformational processes
chemical, biological, physical
Explanation for an observed, empirical phenomenon
Observations and interpretations that emerge from hands-on archaeological field and lab work
low-level theories
Hypothesis that links archaeological observations with the human behavior or natural processes that produced them
middle-level/range theory
Theory that seeks to answer large “why” questions
high-level/general theory
The overarching framework, often unstated, for understanding a research problem. It is a researcher’s “culture.
observations made on objects
Experiments designed to determine archaeological correlates of ancient behavior
experimental archaeology
The study of contemporary peoples to determine how human behavior is translated into the archaeological record
The study of how organisms become part of the fossil record; in archaeology it primarily refers to the study of how natural processes produce patterning in archaeological data
The study of how organisms become part of the fossil record; in archaeology it primarily refers to the study of how natural processes produce patterning in archaeological data
2 objectives of geoarchaeology
place sites in temporal context, understand site formation
the human and natural actions that work together to create an archaeological site
site formation
The geological study of landforms and landscapes
The geological principle stating that, in any pile of sedimentary rocks that have not been disturbed by folding or overturning, each bed is older than the layers above and younger than the layers below (Steno’s law)
law of superposition
Rock formed when the weathered products of pre-existing rocks have been transported by and deposited in water and are once again turned to stone
sedimentary rock
Sediments transported by flowing water
alluvial sediments
Materials transported and accumulated by wind
eolian sediments
- An easily identified geologic layer whose age has been independently confirmed at numerous locations and whose presence can therefore be used to date archaeological and geological sediments (where the ash settled in this example)
marker bed
Sediments deposited primarily though the action of gravity on geological material lying on hillsides
colluvial sediments
Sediments that have undergone in situ chemical and mechanical alteration
The upper part of a soil, where active organic and mechanical decomposition of geological and organic material occurs
a horizon
A layer found below the A horizon, where clays accumulate that are transported downward by water
b horizon
A layer found below the B horizon that consists of the unaltered or slightly altered parent material
c horizon
A semi-subterranean structure with a heavy log roof, covered with sod
The result when one sediment is unearthed by human or natural actions and moved elsewhere, whereby the latest material will be deposited on the bottom of the new sediment, and progressively earlier material will be deposited higher and higher in the stratigraphy
reverse stratigraphy
A living behavioral system wherein artifacts are part of the on-going system of manufacture, use, reuse, and discard
systematic context
Once artifacts enter the ground, they are part of the archaeological context, where they can continue to be affected by human action, but where they are also affected by natural processes
archaeological context
The ways in which human behaviors and natural actions operate to produce the archaeological record
formation process in systematic context
primary ways in which artifacts enter archaeological record
cultural depositional process in systematic process
cultural depositional process in systematic context
discard, loss, caching, ritual interment
Human behaviors that result in artifacts moving from archaeological context back to systemic context, for example, scavenging beams from an abandoned structure to use in a new one
reclamation processes in systematic context
Human behaviors that modify artifacts in their archaeological context, for example, digging pits, hearths, canals, and houses
cultural disturbance process in systematic context
Human behaviors that recycle and reuse artifacts before the artifact enters the archaeological context
reuse processes in systematic context
A natural formation process in which trees and other plants affect the districution of artifacts within an archaeological site
A natural formation process in which animals affect the distribution of material within an archaeological site
A filled-in animal burrow
A natural formation process in which freeze/thaw activity in a soil selectively pushes larger artifacts to the surface of a site
A natural formation process in which wet/dry cycles in clay-rich soils push artifacts upward as the sediment swells and then moves them down as cracks form during dry cycles
A natural formation process in which artifacts are moved downslope through gravity, sometimes assisted by precipitation runoff
A fluvial process through which stones in a streambed or riverbed come to rest overlapping like shingles on a roof, with their upstream ends lying slightly lower in elevation than their downstream ends