• Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

Card Range To Study



Play button


Play button




Click to flip

Use LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys to navigate between flashcards;

Use UP and DOWN arrow keys to flip the card;

H to show hint;

A reads text to speech;

57 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
the systematic study of the lives and cultures of ancient peoples through the interpretation of the material evidence of past human activities including ancient technology and behavior, social organization, religious beliefs, and every aspect of human culture.
Genres of archaeology:
1. History and Development (Philosophy of Archaeology, Philosophy of Science)

2. Theory (Cultural Evolution, The Rise and Fall of Civilizations, etc.)

3. Methodology and Technique (Sampling and Discovery, Excavation Methods, Radiometric Dating, etc.)

4. Cultural History (Chronologically or Geographically Specific: N. American Archaeology, etc. (Narrative of Events) (i.e. this textbook)
Who launced the "first historically recorded archaeological expedition inthe world?"
King Nabonidus of Babylon in the sixth century. B.C.
What was done in the "first historically recorded archaeological expedition inthe world?"
Excavated the temple mounds at the ancient city of Agade (Akkad) near Babylon.
In 1738, what did King Charles III of Italy commission the Spanish engineer Roque Joaquin de Alcubierre to do?
To Excavate the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum which was buried by volcanic ash in A.D. 79 at the same time Pompeii was destroyed by Vesuvius. (Who did this and when?)
What does the Three Age System of classification consist of?
The Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age. (This system is still used today, but in a modified form; Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic.)
Who publicized the Three Age System of classification? When?
Danishman Christensen Jurgensen Thomsen in 1807.
Archbishop James Ussher-
In the 1600s he calculated Earth was created in 4004 B.C... (He was off by 3 billion years)
William "Strata" Smith-
Principle of Uniformitarianism
Georges Cuvier-
Fossil reconstructions of mammoths, pterodactyls
Boucher de Perthes-
1830s- Stone tools in river gravels near Abbevill, France.
Thomas Huxley-
1857- Examines original Neanderthal. (Sometimes known as "Darwin's Bulldog.")
Charles Darwin-
1859- Publishes Origin of Species.
The belief that geological layers and deposits were laid down quickly as the result of a sudden catastrophe such as Noah's Flood. (Heavily influenced by Biblical accounts and suggests a very young earth.)
A geological principal that states that natural processes such as erosion, weathering & sedimentation have been operating for a very long time and that these processes shape the earth today and the same processes shaped the earth in the past. (suggests a very ancient earth)
Geological layers (plural)
A geological layer (singular)
A sequence of geological or cultural layers (like a layer cake)
Unilinear Evolution-
Evolution in one line from "savagery" (simple hunting) to "barbarism" (simple farming) to "civilization."
Who were some major theoretical infuences on 19th century thinking?
E.B. Tylor, L.H. Morgan, Karl Marx, F. Engels)
The concept that major human inventions originated in one place and spread to other parts of the world as a result of trading, migration, cultural contact or exploration (the "Mother Culture" theory [Egypt])
(Scientific Modern Archaeology)
Thomas Jefferson-
Conducted the first stratigraphic excavations in the Americas (Virginia) and is considered by some to be the father of American archaeology. (Early 1800s; Indian mound on his estate)
(Scientific Modern Archaeology)
What are some of the first places in the Old World that Scientific excavations took place?
Germans at Olympia, Greece; Pitt-Rivers in Britain (1800s); Wheeler in Pakistan (1920s - 1950s).
Archaeology as a scientific discipline is only about how old?
About 200 years old.
About when were modern radiometric (radioisotopic) dating techniques discovered.
(Some Major Concepts)
The Direct Historical Approach-
Working back from the present into the past by studying living indigenous peoples and using their behaviors and lifestyles to help understand the archaeological record of their ancestors, or at least people who were living in the same environment.
(Some Major Concepts)
Ethnographic Analogy-
Using living peoples to help understand the lifeways of prehistoric peoples (if preliterate people today do it this way, we can assume that prehistoric peoples did it in a similar way in the past).
What do Archaeologists study?
The material remains of past cultural systems.
A guide for human behavior created through generations of human experience. It is an adaptive system- an interface between humans, the environment, and other human societies. It includes knowledge, beliefs, art, customs, morals, law, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by humans as members of society (and is passed from generation to generation).
Idiosyncratic culture-
The individual's own version of his or her own culture; the diversified individual behavior that makes up the myriad strands of a culture.
The Archaeological Record-
"The archives of the past made up of surviving finds resulting from ancient human behavior" as well as the information that archaeologists create and publish. (The ___ is both In the ground and OUt of the ground [excavated])
A natural object which has been moved from its original context by human agency but otherwise remains unmodified. Examples include stones or shells moved from coastal or riverine areas or pebbles found in alien geological contexts.
(Objects manufactured, or transported to a site for use, by humans.)

Anything which exhibits any physical attributes that can be assumed to be the result of human activity (and found by an archaeologist).

The object has been created, it is artificial, manmade, or not natural.

Every artifact has a context or a culturally significant location in an archaeological site.
The position in time (according to stratigraphy and associated datable remains) and space (according to depth, distance from a known fixed point, and stratigraphy) in which the artifact occurs in the ground.
Cultural Context-
The general location in which the artifact was found (trash midden, storage pit, burial, room of a house, living floor, etc.)
Humanly manufactured nonportable structures found in archaeological sites including things like house foundations, temples, burials or graves, fences, fortifications, trash middens or pits, storage pits, hearths or fireplaces, etc.
Law of Association-
The principle that an object is contemporary with (is the same age as) other objects found in the same archaeological level (stratum) in which it is found.
Spatial Association-
An artifact is in juxtaposition, touching, or in proximity to antoher object.
Functional Association-
An artifact found in juxtaposition with another object may (sometimes) be assumed to have been used with that object or in a related process. (Ex. The stone blades and the stone chopper may be assumed to have been used in a related process around the hearth, like chopping off animal limbs and cutting meat off the bones (the related process being food processing, specifically meat processing or cooking))
KISS Principle:
Keep It Simple, Stupid!
Occam's Razor-
The simplest explanation is the most likely.
Law of Superposition-
A principle of stratigraphy which states that the lower the stratum the older it is; the higher the stratum, the more recent it is.
Relative Chronology-
The assigning of relative ages to archaeological strata or sites (A is older than B, which is older than C, relative to one another).
The placing of a group or groups of objects in a chronological series based on their frequencies and positions in archaeological context.
Cross-Dating -
Sites with similar artifact frequencies can be assumed to be (roughly) the same age based on the popularity of the artifact types; sites related to each other in this way are related chronologically by ______.
Chronometric (absolute) dating-
______ are dates in calendar years, usually with some uncertainty factor (+/- years)(the older the date, the greater the uncertainty)
Potassium/Argon Dating (K/Ar)-
Pg. 6 of notes for full explanation.
Can date remains from the origins of humankind to ca. 100,000 YA.
Does not directly date bones or artifacts, but dates the layers.
Functions 2 BYA to 100,000 YA (100 KYA)
Radiocarbon Dating (C-14)-
Pg. 6-7 of notes for full explanation.
During the life of an organism, organic matter is built up by photosynthesis (plants), respiration of CO2 and eating (animals).
... Way more to it, Pg. 6-7 notes.
What is Before Present (B.P) used for and how is it used.
Used in Radiocarbon Dating. Is 1950 years older than B.C. dates.
(Tree Ring Dating)
What are the Tree Primary Cultural Processes?
Invention, Diffusion, and Migration.
(Tree Primary Cultural Processes)
involves creating a new idea and transforming it into an artifact or object; it can be a modification of an old idea or an entirely new concept.
(Tree Primary Cultural Processes)
Involves the movement of people and is based on a deliberate decision to enter new areas and leave the old.
Unilinear vs. Multilinear Evolution and Evolution in "Stages" (Prestate and State Societies: Cultural Evolution)

association of families; 25-60 people; close-knit social ties; most Hunter-Gatherers up to the origins of agriculture lived in bands. (99% of human history has been lived in bands!!!)
Unilinear vs. Multilinear Evolution and Evolution in "Stages" (Prestate and State Societies: Cultural Evolution)

Clusters of bands linked by clans (based on ancestral ties providing common identity beyond the immediate family).
Unilinear vs. Multilinear Evolution and Evolution in "Stages" (Prestate and State Societies: Cultural Evolution)

Kin based, hierarchical societies with power in the hands of kin leaders (chiefs) who have unusual political and entrepreneurial skills.
Unilinear vs. Multilinear Evolution and Evolution in "Stages" (Prestate and State Societies: Cultural Evolution)

States (Civilizations)-
Large-scale societies with centralized political and social organization, class stratification and intensive agriculture.