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62 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
study of people, ways of life, societies
landscape and ecosystem alterations
- create places of meaning and shape the future; such as human impacts on wild plants and animals (large game wiping out), domestication, trash dumping
eco facts
biological remains; such as animal remains, plant remains, or both
structures and other features
such as terrances, irrigation systems, mounds/pyramids, monuments, public and residential buildings
material culture
things people use, make and debris from making things
sub-altern groups
groupds subordinate to others
arch method/theory
relationships bt matierial culture, behavior and thought; processes of formation and transformation; importance of provenience and methods of data recovery / analysis
objects which were carried, not where they should be; an artificat
manterial object made or modified by people; this is the basic unit of arch analysis; unclude: tools (mudane or symbolic), structures, manufacturing debris
minimal characteristics of an artifact used as a criteron for grouping artifacts: raw material, sytle, form, manufacturing technology, descriptive aspect of an artifact or site
altered plants and animals:
- domestication
- harvested
- moved
non-portable artifact; can't be recovered from its matrix w/out destryoing its integrity; ex: hearths, pits, middens (trash deposits), soil stains, dams
domestic buildings / structures;
- houses
- storage
- public structures
- meaningful structures
provenicence (where?)
- locus - where it is in a site
- source - where it came from
- location: provinence, stratigraphic
- characteristic of the deposit (the matrix)
- formation context
- types: chronological, cultural, functional
relationship among artifiacts and features
anthropogenic environments
- fire, - clearing agri fields, - pastoral use
site formation processes
- the process by which arch sites are formed and transformed ; natural or cultural
relates to time - the layers of the soil
good notes, complete collections - important for future archaeological work
currated tools
ex: hoe; can be used again and again
expiated tools
one time use only
material aspects
the patterns; finding the context clues
- functional
- stylistic
- chronological
- cultural
why? to faciliate communication, data reduction
primary / secondary contexts
relating to if the artifacts were altered before or after deposition with the primary ones as more valuable
dating techniques:
- relative dating: if somthing is older than somthing else
- absolute dating: more exact
relative dating
ex: stratigraphic relations bt the layers; seriation : or ording chronologically; weathering
discoursive object
obj of meaning
destroying the icons of previous areas
archaeological record
things and patterns; the patterns tell more than just the things alone
The genetic alteration of plants or animals as a result of people exerting control over their reproduction.
The taming of wild plants and animals by humans
Domestication changes the physical characteristics of the plant or animal involved>
2. EXPLAIN why it is important to understand the context of archaeological remains.
primary or secondary
functional context = interpretation of use
EXAMPLES of both cultural and natural processes of site formation and site transformation.
Cultural – abandonment, burial, disposal
Natural – burial (flood or volcanic)
Cultural – reuse, looting, intentional destruction (iconoclasm)
Natural – bioturbation, erosion
4. DESCRIBE what archaeologists refer to as a seasonal round.
seasonal movements of settlements within a delimited territory to map onto resources that change in abundance over the course of the year (with a cyclical return to set places)
5. DEFINE artifact
Material items made, altered, or used by people
Any object or item created or modified by human action
6. EXPLAIN why an archaeologist would choose to conduct horizontal, or area, excavations at a site.
To open up large areas to examine structures and the spatial patterning of artifact deposits
To provide information on site arrangement and structures (the distribution of features and artifacts)
Maize Mesoamerica
Potato South America
Squash Mesoamerica and North America
Chenopodium South America, Mesoamerica, and North America
plants -- domestication + areas
8. IDENTIFY the two most likely routes followed by the Ice Age colonists of the New World.
Overland across Beringia and inland along the Ice-free Corridor
Along the Pacific Coast of Beringia and south along the Pacific Coast of North America
north american
- Carrier Mills (Black Earth site) = Archaic
- Lindenmeier = Paleoindian
- Gatecliff Shelter = Archaic
Guilá Naquitz = Archaic
Guitarrero Cave = Archaic
Monte Verde = Paleoindian
Poverty Point = Archaic
Carrier Mills (Black Earth site)/ North America
Coxcatlán Cave (Tehuacán Valley)/Mesoamerica
Gatecliff Shelter/North America
Hebior-Schaefer /North America
Meadowcroft Rockshelter/North America
Monte Verde/South America
Watson Break/North America
Talud-tablero architecture
an architectural style characteristic of Teotihuacan during the classic period, in which recessed rectangular panels are separated by sloping aprons
 Ex: used at the site of Teotihuacan
• Barrio
-- area of the city, with different burial practices, pottery’ found in various parts of the town; they are groups of these complexes that are grouped around a larger court with ceremonial structures;
o They appear to have ethnic / craft specialization significance
maya theater state
 ideological basis for royal authority
o Stela
an erect stone monument that is often carved; they often were used to glorify the ancestries and accomplishments of specific rulers or elites; the freestanding stelae are important b/c they are examples of the earliest Mesoamerican writing; they were often defaced or intentionally mutiliated to diminish the importance of the individuals that were represented after their deaths or in periods of reform / revolution; they are important b/c they provide an important record for archaeologist
o E-group structures
an arrangement of buildings designed to mark the position of the rising sun during important solar events, such as equinoxes and solstices in Mesoamerica
o Cenote
– the maya word for a sinkhole, a natural well in the Yucatan that provides water for drinking and bathing
 Ex: Chichén Itzá; a major source of drinking water
o Auto-sacrifice
royal sacrifice
 either auto sacrifice or that of a captive
 rulers’ s role as chief shaman
 goal: to obtain knowledge from divine serpent
 took place in public settings (great plaza)
o Chiefdom
these ‘intermediate scale’ societies as they are sometimes termed by archaeologist are characterized by social inequalities, which were often ascribed, both political and economically; they had a division of labor based on age and gender, yet, the elites and craft specializors were often exempt. They had centralized political offices and the leaders used influence to gain and maintain power. Typically the chiefs were responsible for warfare, for dealing with outsiders and for religious authority. These societies are typically marked by settlement patterns linked to settlement hierarchy and seen through settlement hierarchies of public facilities. Chiefdoms had economic patterns which created differences bt nobles and commoners. Specializations were common and chiefdoms were visable by their mortuary patterns and the use of symbols, ie: think the costumry of the chiefs.
o State
a form of government with an internally specialized and hierarchically organized decision-making apparatus. A state generally has three or more administrative levels; usually stratified societies; they shared many similiarities: a dietary trinity, trade, religious systems.
o Long count
the classic maya system of dating that records the total number of days elapsed from an initial date in the distant past; the system is based on multiples of 20
• Importance of agricultural surplus in state formation
o The cultivation and exploitations of agricultural surpluses is related to the formation of states. Chiefs were generally associated with agricultural societies. With agriculture it was easy to produce a storable surplus and with domesticated plants, one could produce an even greater return per unit of land. The chiefs could and did, extract or control these food surpless and they could encourage their peoples to work to produce beyond their immeditate needs.
city state
o Mesoamerica city-state was a center or collection of peoples, in which they were supported by the hinterlands, they were provided or offered other services that the towns did not. These societies were lead by leads and are marked by hierarchy, political and economic differentiation. City states are territorial and use military acquisition that is not seen in chiefdoms. An empire is a union of dispersed territories, colonies, states, and unrelated peoples under one soverign rule.
A large collection of peoples, provides things that surrounding towns do not provide (economics, governments, specialization); they are supported by hinterlands
• Classic Maya Collapse
the classic maya collapse occurred near the 10th century and is marked by the cesisation of monumental building; many of the political centers were abandonded, and depopulation to other areas occurred. Archeologist have suggests that this collapse might have been related to conquest, to the disruption of exchange networks, or from environmental degradtation and economic collapse. Or it could have been triggered by civil war and class conflicts.
o Hieroglyph
depictive, art-related system of writing, such as that of Mesoamerica; may also refer to an individual symbol
o Ideograph
: a written symbol that represents an abstract idea rather than the sound of a word or the pictorial symbol of an object
o Phonetic: pertaining to the sounds of speech
monte alban
- long time occupiation
- zapotec state
- hill top location
- defensive wall
Puuc style
identifiable by a mosaic of limestone masonry covering a rubble core
a. The influence of the Puuc style is associated with ceramic and architectural elements from the non-maya areas of Mexico
chichen itza
post classic maya, highlands mexico
el mirador
formative maya, lowlands maya
classic maya, lowlands mexico