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40 Cards in this Set

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Radiocarbon Dating (C14)
Developed by Willard Libby.
Through metabolic activity, the level of carbon-14 in a living organism remains in constant balance with the level in the atmosphere or some other portion of the earth’s dynamic reservoir.Upon the organism’s death, carbon-14 begins to disintegrate at a known rate, and no further replacement of carbon from atmospheric carbon dioxide can take place.
Materials:Wood,Charcoal,Bone,Carbonate
Range:100-40,000 years
Limitations:Contamination, Calibration
Dendrochronology
"Tree Time". The study of the annual growth rings of trees as a dating technique to build chronologies. Calibrates C14.
rain->fatter ring
dry->thinner ring
Materials:Tree rings in preserved logs and lumber
Range:8,000 years
Limitations:Region Specific
***"Methusal" Oldest tree, 4,000 yo, bristle cone pine.***
Radiopotassium
The decay of radioactive potassium isotopes to argon
***Rocks dated this way not artifacts/fossils***
Materials:Volcanic Rocks or Minerals
Range:Unlimited but approximate
Limitations:Appropriate samples are rare.
Absolute Dating
A method of assigning archaeological dates in calendar years so that an actual number of years is known or can be estimated.
Relative Dating
A technique used to estimate the antquity of archaeological materials, generally based on association with materials of known age or simply to say that one item is younger or older than another.
Association or Seriation
The relationship between items in an archaeological site. Items in association are found close together and/or in the same layer or deposit.
Half-life
A measure of the rate of decay in radioactive materials; half the radioactive material will disappear within the period of one half-life
Isotope
One of several atomic states of an element
Isotopic Technique
A method for absolute dating technique that relies on known rates of decay in radioactive isotopes
Prehistory
The time of human past before the appearance of written record
Archaeology
The study of the human past, combining the themes of time and change
Era
A major division of geological time,tens or hundreds of millions of years long, usually distinguished by significant changes in the plant and animal kingdoms. Also used to denote later archaeological periods.
Epoch
A subdivision of geological time, millions of years long, representing units of era's
Culture
A uniquely human means of nonbiological adaptation; a repertiore of learned behaviors for coping with the physical and social environments
Evolution
The process of change over time resulting from shifting conditions of the physical and cultural environmnet, involving mechanisms of mutations and natural selection
Artifact
Any object or item created or modified by human action
Site
The accumulation of artifacts and/or ecofacts, representing a place where people lived or carried out certain activities
Fieldwork
The search for archaeological sites in the landscape through excavation
Survey
A systematic search of the landscape for artifacts and sites on the ground through aerial photography, field walking, soil analysis,and geophysical prospecting.
Excavation
The exposure and recording of buried materials from the past
GPR
*Ground-Penetrating Radar*
An instrument for remote sensing or prospecting for buried structures using radar maps of subsoil features
Bioturbation
Activities of plants and animals in the earth, causing disturbance of archaeological materials
Midden
Wide area of artifacts accumulated from human collection, consumption, and disposal
Ecofact
Any of the remains of plants, animals, sediments, or other unmodified materials that result from human activity
Feature
An immovable structure or layer, pit, or post in the ground having archaeological significance
Ethnography
The study of human cultures through firsthand observation
Technology
The combination of knowledge and manufacturing techniques that enable people to convert raw materials into finished products
Economy
The management and organization of the affairs of a group, community, or establishment to ensure thier survival and productivity
Organization
The arrangements between individuals and groups in human society that structure relationships and activities
Egalitatrian
A term that refers to societies lacking clearly defined status differences between individuals except those due to sex age or skill
Rank
A relationship of inequality between members of society in which status is determined by kinship relations of birth order and lineage
Class
A relationship of inequality between members of society in which status is determined by membership in a level of class
Craft specialists
Individuals involved in part or full-time activities devoted to the production of a specific class of goods, oftern highly valued
Hierarchical
A term referring to societies that have a graded order of inequality in ranks, statuses, or decision markers
Ideology
A conceptual framework by which people structure thier ideas about the order of the universe, thier place in that universe, and thier relationship among themselves and with objects and other forms of life around them
Cosmology
The worldview of a group or society, encompassing their understanding of the universe, thier origins and existence, and nature.
Pictograph
A written or painted symbol that more or less portrays the represented object
Pertroglyph
A drawing that has been carved into a rock
Shaman
An anthropological term for a spiritualist, curer, or seerer
Sodality
An alliance or association among some members of a society, often based on age and sex with a specific function