How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

29 terms

Archaeology 7

Morphological Type
a descriptive and abstract grouping of individual artifacts whose focus is on overall similarity rather than function or chronological significance.
the systematic arrangement of material culture into types (chronological, styles, shapes)
a collection of artifacts of one or several classes of materials (stone tools, ceramics, bones) that comes from a defined context, such as a site, feature, or stratum. All come from the same time
Archaeological Culture
entire material expression of a culture. (culture includes a lot more than materials which is why archaeological is specified)
a length of time distinguished by particular items of material culture, such as house form, pottery, or subsistence. Length of time defined by significant changes in material culture. (change in way of life ex hunter-gatherers to farmers)
culturally homogenous unit within a site. an archaeological construct consisting of a stratum or set of strata that are presumed to be culturally homogeneous. A set of components from various sites in a region will make up a phase.
The same component at multiple sites. Distinguished by distinctive archaeological construct possessing traits sufficiently characteristic to distinguish it from other units similarly conceived; spatially limited to roughly a locality or region and chronologically limited to the briefest interval of time possible.
Convert from AD to BP
subtract the date from 1950
Convert from BC to BP
add the number to 1950
Convert from BP to BC/AD
subtract the date from 1950 (if it's negative, it's BC)
Direct Dating
analysis of the object to obtain a date
Indirect Dating
analysis of material associated with the object to obtain a date
Relative dating
dates expressed relative to one another (for instance, earlier, later, more recent) instead of in absolute terms).
Absolute Dating
a date expressed as specific unites of scientific measurement, such as days, years, centuries, or millennia; absolute determinations attempting to pinpoint a discrete, known interval in time.
Index Fossil Concept
the idea that strata containing similar fossil assemblages are of similar age. This concept enables archaeologists to characterize and data strata within sites using distinctive artifact forms that research shows to be diagnostic of a particular period of time.
Time markers
similar to index fossils in geology; artifact forms that research shows to be diagnostic of a particular period of time.
Based on the changes in frequency of styles, Results in the creation of typologies
a relative dating method that orders artifacts based on the assumption that one cultural style slowly replaces an earlier style over time;
the use of annual growth rings in trees to assign calendar ages to ancient wood samples.
Radio Carbon Dating
Living animals pick up carbon-14 from plants that got it from the atmosphere. When living we have same amount as atmosphere. When you die it starts to decay 5,730 years decay rate. Measured radioactivity coming off the bones and you can tell how old something is. ONLY ORGANICS
Problems with Radio Carbon Dating
Only dates back 50,000 years, not exact, some plants take up more carbon than others, amount of carbon in atmosphere fluctuates
Accelerator Mass spectrometry
Need a smaller sample, it measures the proportion of the isotopes. You can take a sample as small as a sesame seed.
Measures radiation produced from trapped electrons
Dates pottery and other materials from modern time to 100,000 years ago
a trapped charge dating technique used on ceramics and burned stone artifacts—anything mineral that has been heated to more than 500 degrees C.
Electron Spin resonance
a trapped charge technique used to date tooth enamel and burned stone tools; it can date teeth that are beyond the range of radiocarbon dating. Back to a million years ago
Amino acid racemization
Dates bones and egg shells
Up to 100,000 years ago
Cation ratio
Dates rock art, Up to 20,000 years ago
Argon-Argon Dating
Based on decay of potassium into argon, can only be used to date volcanic ash/rocks, only dates 100,000 years and older.
a high-precision method for estimating the relative quantities of argon-39 and argon-40 gas; used to date volcanic ashes that are between 500,000 and several million years old.
Uranium Series
Radioactive decay of uranium isotopes, Dates calcium carbonate rocks from 50,000 to 500,000 years ago, Used in hominid and early human sites, Qafzeh
Fission Track Dating
Based on the spontaneous fission of Uranium-238, Dates a variety of minerals from 300,000 to millions of years ago, Used mainly on hominid sites
Historical Dating
Use of calendars, Use calendars developed by ancient peoples, Must connect dates to actual artifacts or buildings