43 terms

Archaeological Anthropology

test 3 in intro anthropology University of Houston

Terms in this set (...)

an examination of humanity in all spaces and all times (historic and pre-historic) w/ the hopes of being able to better understand the positives and negatives of reconstructing past human behaviors
Processual Archaeology
Stresses dynamic relationship between social and economic aspects of culture, and the environment as the basis for understanding the processes of culture change. Archaeology becomes independent from anthropology. Suggests objectivity is possible!
Post Processual Archaeology
no one perceives the past objectively- what we think is true is influenced by what we believe to be true- interpretation of past arises out of own cultural context, background, experiences (current cultural bias)
Prehistoric Archaeology
The analysis of the material remains of cultures that existed before the time of written records
Biblical Archaeology
the study of archaeology of the scriptures (regions)
Historical Archaeology
A subfield of archaeology that studies the remains of cultures that existed during the time of written records but about which little was recorded. Usually used to fill in details of history
Marine Archaeology
the archeology of underwater sites
Classical Archaeology
focuses heavily on text, art, and architecture of historical societies (Ex: Rome, Egypt)
Archaeological Records
-Trace Human past
-Affected By the age of material, preservation, environment, excavation.
-patterned by human activities and the natural environment
-includes artifacts, eco-facts, and features
object made by human beings, either hand-made or mass-produced
Ecofact (Biofact)
natural objects, such as bones,teeth, and shells that have survived from earlier cultures
non-portable evidence of past human activity
areas of past human activity and can vary in size
The relationship of archaeological materials at a site and is comprised of provenience, matrix and association
the context or location within a grid system - Archaeologists use provenience information to detail where artifacts were located spatially in a given excavation.
a surrounding substance within which something is contained or found in
Process by which two pieces of information from the environment are repeatedly linked so that we begin to connect them in our minds
in the archaeological record is affected by preservation and scale
(ex differences in pyramids in egypt)
the study of what happens to the remains of an animal from the time of death to the time of discovery, note that not everything found in an archeological site is part of the site
transformation processes
begin after deposition and include all conditions and events that affect material remains from the time of deposition to the time the archaeologist recognizes and acquires them as data
2 kinds cultural and natural
cultural transforms
Processes which relate to human activities, such as how sites were built and used, how artifacts were kept or discarded, etc.
natural transforms
Processes which relate to natural processes, such as decay, geological disturbance, and water logging
Started the theory of catastrophism, but was later found out to be wrong
The hypothesis by Georges Cuvier that each boundary between strata corresponded in time to a catastrophe, such as a flood or drought, that had destroyed many of the species living there at that time. but was later found to be incorrect
Bishop Ussher
Used the Bible to date the origin of the earth to 4004 B.C. in 1650.
Archaeological Ethics
- the human past is of interest and belongs to all of us
- respect for the views and obligations of others is neccesary, especially in regards to the bodies of their ancestors
-private property is an important right
-but so are the needs of the greater society
Public Archaeology
a broad term that covers archaeological research conducted for the public good as part of cultural resource management and heritage management programs; a major growth area of world archaeology
Reconstruction of a site
archaeology can be used to reconstruct buildings/sites to help interpret the past
Preserving the past
Cultural Resource management
a branch of archaeology tied to government policies for the protection of cultural resources and involving surveying and/or excavating archaeological and historical remains threatened by construction or development
Antiques Act of 1906
Gives the president the authority to set aside historical landmarks
Historic Preservation Act 1966
Intended to preserve historical and archeological sites
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
provides for the protection of the Native American marked and unmarked graves. Mandated that all skeletal material excavated before 1990 must be properly inventoried and curated, if the ethnic affiliation of the Native American skeleton is known, then the curation facility has the legal obligation to contact the closest federally recognized tribe.
Society for American Archaeology
made principles of archaeological ethics; organization for new world archaeology
8 Principals of SAA
-Public Education and Outreach
-Intellectual Property
-Public Reporting and Publication
-Records and Preservation
-Training and Resources
a philosophy that holds that humans have a unique responsibility to manage, care for, and improve nature for the good of archaeology
Responsible archaeological research, including all levels of professional activity, requires an acknowledgment of public accountability
Archaeologists should therefore carefully weigh the benefits to scholarship of a project against the costs of potentially enhancing the commercial value of archaeological objects. Whenever possible they should discourage, and should themselves avoid, activities that enhance the commercial value of archaeological objects, especially objects that are not curated in public institutions, or readily available for scientific study, public interpretation, and display.
Public Education and Outreach
archaeologists should reach out to and cooperate with all interested members of the public
Intellectual Property
intangible property that is the result of creativity (such as patents or trademarks or copyrights)
Public Reporting and Publication
knowledge gained from research should be published within a reasonable length of time to a wide range of interested publics
Records and Preservation
archaeologists must actively work for preservation of the archaeological record and reports
Training and Resources
archaeologists must have adequate training, facilities, and support before carrying out research