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Archaeology Terms

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Artifacts
A man made object.
Archaeological record
Once living things imprinted in an object.
Archaeology
The recovery and study of artifacts, ruins, bones, and fossils remaining from the past.
Excavation
The process of digging up the remains of the past.
Fossils
The remains or imprints of once-living plants or animals.
Oral tradition
Legends, myths, and beliefs passed on by work of mouth from generation to generation.
Prehistory
History before the development of writing.
Primary source
Materials describing certain events that were created within the same time period as the events.
Secondary source
Materials describing certain events that were created by people who studied the primary sources.
Examples of written sources
Letters, diaries, speeches, popular songs, poems, business records, campaign slogans, calendars, maps
Examples of non-written sources
Fossils, artifacts, tombs, monuments, cities, oral tradition
What kinds of question help historians evaluate sources? How does each question help historians evaluate sources?
Who, what, when, where, why
Why do historians study archaeological records?
To find out what people liked, what they ate, what they played, what diseases they had, etc.
What are the steps of excavating an archaeological site?
They mark off small squares or a grid, dig out a layer at a time, and record location.
When would archaeologist use radiocarbon dating?
To find the age of a once living thing such as wood or bones.
What information can archaeologists obtain by studying the layers of the earth?
How old something is.
What is absolute dating?
Finding out exactly how old something is.
What is relative dating?
Finding out if something is older or newer then something else.
What is dendrochronology?
The study of tree rings that can tell when something happened.
Why would an archaeologist often look in garbage?
They can find out what people did.