Archaeology

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This diversified and partly man-shaped landscape in northern Mozambique has some visual appeal (being beautiful or picturesque). Credit: Paulo Oliveira.

Archaeology "studies human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains and environmental data, including architecture, artifacts, ecofacts, human remains, and landscapes."[1]

It "is the study of human activity in the past, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes (the archaeological record)."[2]

"Because archaeology employs a wide range of different procedures, it can be considered to be both a science and a humanity,[3]"[2].

"Archaeology studies human history from the development of the first stone tools in eastern Africa 3.4 million years ago up until recent decades.[4] (Archaeology does not include the discipline of paleontology.) It is of most importance for learning about prehistoric societies, when there are no written records for historians to study, making up over 99% of total human history, from the Palaeolithic until the advent of literacy in any given society.[3]"[2]

Theoretical archaeology[edit]

Def. "[t]he period of time that has already happened"[5] is called the past.

Def. "[t]he study of the past through material remains"[6] is called archaeology, or archeology.

Entities[edit]

This is a photograph taken of the noted archaeologist and socialist V. Gordon Childe, circa 1930s. Credit: Swan Watson, Andrew.

"[D]ominant groups create and control the meanings and uses of material culture. If other groups wish to be understood by the dominant group, they must express themselves through the goods controlled by the dominant group."[7]

"But, the privilege afforded a certain dominant group of 'normal' archaeologists in terms of their ways of constructing the past influences all aspects of archaeological practice."[8]

"However, some answers to these questions may emerge from a consideration of the dominant group, that is, the five institutions whose scholars published the most articles in the two periodicals."[9]

Def. an assemblage of surfaces that are a portion of land, region, or territory, observable in its entirety is called a landscape.

"Landscape comprises the visible features of an area of [terrestrial ecoregion] land, including the physical elements of landforms such as (ice-capped) mountains, hills, water bodies such as rivers, lakes, ponds and the sea, living elements of land cover including indigenous vegetation, human elements including different forms of land use, buildings and structures, and transitory elements such as lighting and weather conditions."[10]

"Landscape archaeology is the study of the ways in which people in the past constructed and used the environment around them. Landscape archaeology is inherently multidisciplinary in its approach to the study of culture, and is used by both pre-historical, classic, and historic archaeologists. The key feature that distinguishes landscape archaeology from other archaeological approaches to sites is that there is an explicit emphasis on the study of the relationships between material culture, human alteration of land/cultural modifications to landscape, and the natural environment."[11]

Sources[edit]

Excavations at the site of Gran Dolina, in Atapuerca (Spain), during 2008, are shown. Credit: Mario Modesto Mata.

"Archaeological field survey is the method by which archaeologists (often landscape archaeologists) search for archaeological sites and collect information about the location, distribution and organization of past human cultures across a large area (e.g. typically in excess of one hectare, and often in excess of many km2)."[12]

Surveys are conducted "to search for particular archaeological sites or kinds of sites, to detect patterns in the distribution of material culture over regions, to make generalizations or test hypotheses about past cultures, and to assess the risks that development projects will have adverse impacts on archaeological heritage.[13]"[12]

"The surveys may be: (a) intrusive or non-intrusive, depending on the needs of the survey team (and the risk of destroying archaeological evidence if intrusive methods are used) and; (b) extensive or intensive, depending on the types of research questions being asked of the landscape in question. Surveys can be a practical way to decide whether or not to carry out an excavation (as a way of recording the basic details of a possible site), but may also be ends in themselves, as they produce important information about past human activities in a regional context."[12]

"[E]xcavation is the exposure, processing and recording of archaeological remains. An excavation site or "dig" is a site being studied."[14]

Objects[edit]

Def. "[a]n object, such as a tool, weapon or ornament, [ceramics or pottery,] structure or finding in an experiment or investigation ... made or shaped by some agent or intelligence, ... [as] a result of external action, the test arrangement, or an experimental error ... rather than an inherent element"[15] is called an artifact, or artefact.

Copper[edit]

In "Serbia [are] the oldest copper implements in the world. Some 7000 years ago, tradesmen of great wealth flourished on the Balkan peninsula."[16]

In "the deep Southeast of Europe, near today's village of Plonik in Serbia, there existed 7000 years ago a major city. Its inhabitants lived in closely assembled huts and they melted copper to make jewels, tools and weapons."[16]

"The age of the oldest pieces which they have found up to now in the settlement is up to 7300 years. That's a good 800 years older as any other copper implements which have been found anywhere on Earth to this day."[16]

"The people of the Balkan peninsula had a good knowledge of how they could create jewels, tools and weapons out of earth with a high copper content."[16]

"The soil around Plonik is rich in copper - the metal in a pure state lays often directly at the surface."[17]

The so-called "copper-violets" "are related to the Alpine violets, which we know in Germany from flower pots. But they grow only in a soil with a very high copper content. There - where the soil is too poisonous for the other plants, they blossom in wide carpets - and in so doing point to the presence of copper."[17]

In "the late stone age people picked up the beautiful stones. For instance, malachite. The green-hued mineral belongs to the class of carbonates. Copper content: 57 percent. Our ancestors made experiments with different stones over the fire. From there, it was only a small step to jewels and to more practical objects."[16]

"In Plonik, excavators found hatchets of copper. And weapons: axes and maces. With them a new area began. The stone age was gone, the copper age - chalcolithic - had begun."[16]

On "the Black Sea Coast in today's Bulgaria, there flourished a prosperous, big city, quite close to today's Varna. Archaeologists have found the cemetary of this settlement. The graves were loaded with treasures: jewels - mostly gold, but also copper - sea shells from the Aegean and tools made of types of stone which must have come from far away."[16]

"From one grave, the excavator dug 1,516 K of gold jewelry. This is more gold than has been found in all the rest of the world for this particular epoch."[16]

"In the 5. Millennium BC people lived there in complex, centralized settlements of up to a thousand inhabitants. They invented a new ceramic oven with two chambers which was remarkably well suited to the extraction of metal. We must strongly surmise that there existed relations between the Balkans and Northern Mesopotamia."[16]

"An enormous fire unleashed itself around 5000 BC in the city [of Plonik]. The earth carbonized. The houses collapsed and buried all the possessions of the inhabitants under their walls. When the flame died down, the city had ceased to exist."[16]

Materials[edit]

"In order to interpret archaeological ceramic assemblages in terms of social identities, a method was developed [that] consists in sorting the potsherds according to, successively, technical, techno-petrographic and morpho-stylistic criteria."[18]

Heritage management[edit]

"Rare, though, is the country where ethnic groups balance each other in terms of numbers, wealth or political influence and, consequently, it is not uncommon for the dominant group to use its power to push its own heritage to the fore, minimizing or denying the significance of subordinate groups as it crafts a national identity in its own image."[19]

Historical archaeology[edit]

The history archeology deals with is the study of past events in human life by scientific methods. It deals with use of written records. Archaeologists try to reconstruct a past society using records that are located. An example is an ancient state in Zimbabwe which is a mutapa state about which archaeologists used written records from the Portuguese to locate the site.

Prehistory[edit]

Def. "[t]he history of human culture prior to written records"[20] is called prehistory.

Research[edit]

Hypothesis:

  1. Archaeology of Scandinavia will eventually show it to have been occupied 40,000 b2k.

Proof of concept[edit]

Def. a “short and/or incomplete realization of a certain method or idea to demonstrate its feasibility"[21] is called a proof of concept.

Def. evidence that demonstrates that a concept is possible is called proof of concept.

The proof-of-concept structure consists of

  1. background,
  2. procedures,
  3. findings, and
  4. interpretation.[22]

Control groups[edit]

This is an image of a Lewis rat. Credit: Charles River Laboratories.

The findings demonstrate a statistically systematic change from the status quo or the control group.

“In the design of experiments, treatments [or special properties or characteristics] are applied to [or observed in] experimental units in the treatment group(s).[23] In comparative experiments, members of the complementary group, the control group, receive either no treatment or a standard treatment.[24]"[25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Crazedandinfused (September 6, 2007). "Difference between revisions of "Topic:Archeology", In: Wikiversity". Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Archaeology, In: Wikipedia". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. January 6, 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Renfrew and Bahn (2004 [1991]:13)
  4. McPherron, S. P., Z. Alemseged, C. W. Marean, J. G. Wynn, D. Reed, D. Geraads, R. Bobe, and H. A. Bearat. 2010. Evidence for stone-tool-assisted consumption of animal tissues before 3.39 million years ago at Dikika, Ethiopia. Nature 466:857-860
  5. Tormod (13 July 2004). "past, In: Wiktionary". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 2015-03-28. 
  6. "archaeology, In: Wiktionary". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. October 16, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-30. 
  7. Paul A. Shackel (2000). Marcia-Anne Dobres and John E. Robb. ed. Craft to wage labor Agency and resistance in American historical archaeology, In: Agency in Archaeology. London: Routledge. http://www.bsos.umd.edu/ANTH/People/FacStaff/faculty/pshackel/Publications/Craft%20to%20Wage%20Labor,%20Agency%20and%20Resistance%20in%20American%20Historical%20Archaeology%202000.pdf. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  8. Thomas A. Dowson (2000). "Why queer archaeology? An introduction". World Archaeology 32 (2): 161-5. doi:10.1080/00438240050131144. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00438240050131144. Retrieved 2012-01-03. 
  9. Stephen L. Dyson (April 1985). "Two Paths to the past: A Comparative Study of the Last Fifty Years of American Antiquity and the American Journal of Archaeology". American Antiquity 50 (2): 452-63. http://www.jstor.org/stable/280503. Retrieved 2012-01-03. 
  10. "Landscape, In: Wikipedia". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. January 9, 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  11. "Landscape archaeology, In: Wikipedia". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. August 22, 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "Archaeological field survey, In: Wikipedia". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. October 12, 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  13. E. B. Banning (2002). Archaeological Survey. New York: Kluwer Academic Press. 
  14. "Excavation (archaeology), In: Wikipedia". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. January 8, 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  15. "artifact, In: Wiktionary". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 12 December 2014. Retrieved 2015-03-28. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 16.7 16.8 16.9 Angelika Franz, translated from the German by Ami de Grazia (27 December 2010). "Balkans: Archaeologists puzzle over 7,000y old copper-find - a tremendous fire destroyed a flourishing city". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 2014-10-22. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 Raiko Krauss, translated from the German by Ami de Grazia (27 December 2010). "Balkans: Archaeologists puzzle over 7,000y old copper-find - a tremendous fire destroyed a flourishing city". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 2014-10-22. 
  18. Valentine Roux and Marie-Agnès Courty (2005). Identifying social entities at a macro-regional level: Chalcolithic ceramics of South Levant as a case study, In: Pottery Manufacturing Processes. University of Paris. pp. 201-14. http://www.mae.u-paris10.fr/prehistoire/IMG/pdf/RouxCourtyBAR2005.pdf. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  19. Denis Byrne (1991). "Western hegemony in archaeological heritage management". History and Anthropology 5 (2): 269-76. doi:10.1080/02757206.1991.9960815. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02757206.1991.9960815. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  20. SemperBlotto (21 December 2014). "prehistory, In: Wiktionary". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Retrieved 2015-03-28. 
  21. "proof of concept, In: Wiktionary". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. November 10, 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  22. Ginger Lehrman and Ian B Hogue, Sarah Palmer, Cheryl Jennings, Celsa A Spina, Ann Wiegand, Alan L Landay, Robert W Coombs, Douglas D Richman, John W Mellors, John M Coffin, Ronald J Bosch, David M Margolis (August 13, 2005). "Depletion of latent HIV-1 infection in vivo: a proof-of-concept study". Lancet 366 (9485): 549-55. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)67098-5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1894952/. Retrieved 2012-05-09. 
  23. Klaus Hinkelmann, Oscar Kempthorne (2008). Design and Analysis of Experiments, Volume I: Introduction to Experimental Design (2nd ed.). Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-72756-9. http://books.google.com/?id=T3wWj2kVYZgC&printsec=frontcover. 
  24. R. A. Bailey (2008). Design of comparative experiments. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-68357-9. http://www.cambridge.org/uk/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521683579. 
  25. "Treatment and control groups, In: Wikipedia". San Francisco, California: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. May 18, 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 

External links[edit]

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