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Anth 1500- Reading 1 Notes

09/02/2014

Principles of Archaeology
Archaeology tells us about our human past Def: study of the human past,
combining the themes of time and change
Prehistory: the human past; specifically the time before written records
Culture: is a means of human adaptation based on experience, learning,
and the use of tools.
Individuals that survive do so because of certain advantageous
characteristics (better adapted)
Evolution: process of change over time resulting from shifting conditions
of physical/cultural environments. Involving mutation and natural
selection
Archaeology focuses on past human behavior and societal change
Biological anthropology: study of the biological nature of our nearest
relatives & ourselves (study bones, blood, genetics, growth, demography)
Cultural anthropology: study of living people and the shared aspects of
the human experience (study living people)
Anthropological archaeology: archaeological investigations that seek
answer to large fundamental questions about humans
Historical archaeology: archaeology w/ the written record. Borders on
history field & refers to civilizations of renaissance & industrial era
Artifacts: objects & materials that ppl of the past made/used
Process of discovery, analysis, and interpretation of artifacts/sites
Survey: systematic search of land for artifacts/sites
thru aerial photography, field walking, soil analysis, and geophysical
prospecting
Excavation: exposure & recording of buried materials
Field Work
research an era prior to find record of landscape, environment and
history to establish a direction for a dig
make sure similar investigations not taking place

visit historical society/museums for records


topographical maps (elevation)
Find field notes include:
1. Location, site number, map number, which field, what position in
field
2. The archaeological material found (# of artifcals, charcoal, etc)
3. Observations about site (discolorations in soil, stone walls, nearby
streams etc)
Physical/chemical analysis of soil- shows human environment/activites

Uncovering Artifacts
Metal detectors
Magnetometers provide map of magnetic anomalies in ground (good to
find buried structures)
Ground penetrating radar (GPR): electromagnetic waves sent like
sonar to detect objects

Bioturbation: activites of plants/animal causing disturbance of


archaeology materials
Total station: computerized surveying/mapping instrument that uses
lasers beam or radio waves to calculate exact position of a target (used to
map site)
Context: association/relationships b/w archaeological objects in the same
place
Provienience: place of origin

primary context (or in situ): if object in its original place of

discard
test pits: 1 x 1m across site to see soil layers

Categories of finds and info from digs

artifacts: portable objects


ecofacts: remains of plants/animals/sediments/ other unmodified
materials from human activity (pollen can be used to reconstruct
vegetation history)
features: immovable structures, layers, pits, posts in the ground

sites and settlements: place in landscape when activity and


residence were focused & where above^ was found
Artifact Categories:
form: size and basic shape

technology: characteristic of raw material and manufacturing


technique
style: color, texture, and decoration

ethnography: study of human cultures thru firsthand observation

Anthropology attempts to be holistic(all inclusive) and integrative


Ethnographers: anthropologists study humans by residing in particular
societies and observe behaviors of people
Ethnology: when researchers who go beyond examining a particular
group of people to compare the behaviors of cultures
Anthropological linguistics: focus is language. How it evolved &
historical relationships among known languages
Primatologists: live with the groups they study. Focus attention on
primates (prosimians, monkeys, apes, and humans)
James Ussher interpreted the bible as a literal series of actual events
Irish archbishop

4004 BC
Medieval European view of the past

Biblical chronology

Isaac newton

Creation recent
Physical world in a state of decay (decline)

History: unique events, no change in culture or technology (only


decay)
expanding scales of time and space
1600-1700
Realization of astronomical distances
Earth part of vast universe

Vast scales of space allowed acceptance of vast scales of time


o Could now get into understand of the antiquity of earth and
the human existences (later on)
Aintiquity of the earth
1795: theory of the earth

James Hutton

o Noted formation of sedimentary rock on Scottish coast


Suggested antiquity of earth
o Invent principle of uniformitarianism
principle of uniformitarianism
Law of nature are constant

Speed of light and gravity do not change w/ time


Rate of sedimentation in oceans is very slow

Due to the enormous depth of deposition the world must be very

old
Principles of Geology (1830)
Charles Lyell

Huge bestseller
Further documented antiquity of the earth with work on erosion
(not yet about antiquity of humans)
Advances study of stratigraphy (layer in the earth)

Laid foundations for Darwin


Speculated on recovery of stone tools in deep strata but little

discussion of people (wasnt acceptable at that time to look into


antiquity of ppl)
Law of superposition
In any undisturbed sequence of layers the bottom layer is oldest

Idea first published in 1669 by Nicolas steno


Origin of the species (1859)
Charles Darwin

Influenced by geologists and Malthus ideas of population


Gradual evolutionary change in plant and animals (not humans for
fear of public outcry)
Key insight: natural selection (survival of the fittest)

Rapidly adopted by biologists


Human antiquity
Jacques Boucher de Perthes (French customs agent)

1847: stone tools recovered with extinct animals in somme river


valley, france (willingness to accept animals were ancient, but not
that humans were ancient)
deep (ancient) strata estimated to 500,000 years old

not accepted initially (ppl said he planted the tools and that it was

a hoax)
until Darwin published origin of the species
john Lubbock- 19th century archaeology
prolific scholar

coined the term Neolithic (new stone age) in prehistoric times


(1865)
applied Darwinian concepts to the archaeological record

saw moral as well as technological progress


saw progress as inevitable and was unilinear (would follow same

trend)
19th century palaeolithic archaeology
first scientific discipline to study human antiquity

supposed all human societies witnessed similar stages of

development (hunter gathers more civilized)


showed primitive beginnings of European civilization
th
19 century view of social evolution
change rom simple to complex universal

progress (increasing intelligence, beauty, goodness) inevitable


the west felt it was their role to lead other in progress and civilize

less advanced people


begin as savages(starving, ignorant superstitious, violent)
barbarians (less starving ignorant etc.) civilized (orderly,
moral, wealthy, sophisticated, reasonable)
rethinking progress
horrors of 20th century warfare

end of European imperialism


increased understanding of evolutionary processes

processual archaeology (1960s-80s)


evolutionary and scientific perspective

seeks universal laws of social change


sees societies as systems with environment and technology as

most significant variable


post-processual reaction
part of general trends towards postmodernism

often more particular and less universal in scope


explicit recognition of political context of archaeology
ambivalence toward science

focus on role of individuals, not systems in the past


archaeology now: multiple perspectives
post processual archaeologies

continued expansion of scientific techniques


Darwinian and other evolutionary perspectives continue to develop

Dating methods used in prehistory


Establish sequence of change

Establish pace of change


Allow correlation with other phenomena

Establishing chronology
absolute dating

Provides a date such as 3500 BC, 30,000 BP (before present)


Can be expensive
Can date Historical texts

relative dating
Provides a sequence (which is older/younger) but not the actual
number
The 3 age system
Developed by Thompson (curator of Denmark museum)

Recognition of developmental change in remote antiquity


Stone age, bronze age, iron age (not used in America)
Arbitrary technological labels
stratigraphy
law of superposition
o layers at the bottom are older than the top
law of association
o artifacts associated with one another in a layer are the same
age (if you can date one you can date the other)
o
Archaeology: the systematic, scientific study of the human past based
on the investigation of material culture and its context.
Culture: A societys shared and socially transmitted ideas, values, and
perceptions.
Finding sites- survey methods

Pedestrian (ppl walking and looking)


test pitting
geophysical survey (no digging)
o sonar, resistivity(moisture)
aerial reconnaissance

oblique photography (photos from older eras)


remote sensing (can Google earth) (shows looters- dig circles,
archaeologists dig squares)

Excavation: team based, led by a director. Specialists work together with


excavators
Specialists
o Archaeobotanists: study ancient plants
o Pottery/ceramic experts
o Lithics (Stone Tool experts)
o Ethno-archaeology: spend time with the culture they study
and study behaviors
o zoo archaeology (animal remains)
o geoarchaeology (ancient sediments)
o dating (absolute age)
vertical emphasis: address questions through time. Show different
layers of time. Reveals stratification (layering)
horizontal emphasis: address questions regarding spatial differentiation
across a site

Stratigraphy: layers of cultural and natural materials accumulate one on


top of another Law of Superposition: things that are older were buried
first (so further underground) Reveals sequence of deposition.
Context: the in situ (original undisturbed) location and associations (in
3D) of finds
ie. Finds skeletons with bones and teeth. Without in situ (the
context) it would be normal, but if the context is he was wearing a
necklace of bones and teeth is shows he is a barbarian
Anything that has been buried in the ground for 50+ years = archaeology

Types of remains (artifacts, ecofacts, and features = material culture)


Artifacts: portable objects made or altered by humans
Ecofacts: natural plant, animal, or sediment remains resulting from
human activity (collected by them or hunted)
Features: non-portable structures (houses, walls, fireplaces, burials)
Site and settlement patterns: spatial distribution of rooms, sites, or
group of sites (landscape archaeology)

quiz
Principle of uniformitarianism and law of super position (what and who?)
James Hutton

principle of uniformitarianism

Law of nature are constant


Speed of light and gravity do not change w/ time
Rate of sedimentation in oceans is very slow
Due to the enormous depth of deposition the world must be
very old
Law of superposition
o In any undisturbed sequence of layers the bottom layer is
oldest
o
o
o
o

o Idea first published in 1669 by Nicolas steno

Relative vs. absolute dating (K-Ar)


absolute dating
o Provides a date such as 3500 BC, 30,000 BP (before present)
o Can be expensive
o Can date Historical texts
relative dating
o Provides a sequence (which is older/younger) but not the
actual number
o Provides a sequence, but not the pace of change. It can be
used in conjunction with absolute dating.
potassium-argon dating: requires volcanic layers (ash, basalt)
measures: Potassium-40 and Argon-40. Ranges: 100,000 to > 5
million years ago. When used with stratigraphy, can provide a date
range for non-volcanic sediments.

Australopithecus afarensis- importance of species (bipedalism, dating, age)


dates of upper and lower limit
Australopithecus afarensis: bipedal, small cranial capacity
(similar to chimps), long arms relative to legs, pronounced sexual
dimorphism.
Earliest exhibiters of bipedalism

Hadar, Ethiopia: Lucy, the most complete specimen of

Australopithecus afarensis discovered by Donald Johanson. Dates to


ca. 3 mya.
Bipedalism: standing up on 2 legs

Site locations: Ethiopia: aramis and hadar.


Hadar = lucy
Tanzania: laetoli and olduvai.
South Africa: taung (see map of early hominin sites)
Study maps where the countries are

Dating

Establishes sequence and pace of change and allows correlation


with other phenomena.

Absolute/chronometric Dating: Provides a date such as 3500 B.C.,


30,000 B.P., 1.5 mya. (can be expensive). Potassium-argon (radiopotassium)
frequently used to date early hominins.

Common Abbreviations
BC = Before Christ

AD = Anno Domini
BCE = Before Common Era (Equivalent to BC)
CE = Common Era (Equivalent to AD)
BP = Before present (present = 1950)
Mya/ma = million years ago
kya/ka = thousand years ago

Relative Dating: Provides a sequence, but not the pace of change. It can
be used in conjunction with absolute dating.

potassium-argon dating: requires volcanic layers (ash, basalt)


measures: Potassium-40 and Argon-40. Ranges: 100,000 to > 5 million
years ago. When used with stratigraphy, can provide a date range for
non-volcanic sediments.
Thomas Huxley: 1863, Mans Place in Nature. Similarities b/w human
and ape skeletons led to the now defunct concept of the missing link
Dating: units of time have historically been divided into chunks of 3
(lower, middle, upper). Christian Jrgensen Thomsen developed the
three age system in denmark (stone, bronze, iron)
Paleolithic:
Lower Paleolithic (ca. 1.9 mya to ca. .02 mya) (oldest)

Middle Paleolithic (200 kya to 40 kya)


Upper Paleolithic (40 kya to 10 kya) (youngest)
Ca. = circa (latin) = about/approx.

Early Hominins
1. Ardipithicus ramidus: facultative bipedalism with arboreal
adaptations, small brain, decreased sexual dimorphism, divergent big toe.
Aramis, Ethiopia: Ardi, the most complete early hominin. Announced
in 2009 by Tim White. Dates to 4.4 mya.

2. Australopithecus afarensis: bipedal, small cranial capacity (similar


to chimps), long arms relative to legs, pronounced sexual dimorphism.
Hadar, Ethiopia: Lucy, the most complete specimen of
Australopithecus afarensis discovered by Donald Johanson. Dates to ca. 3
mya.
Laetoli Footprints, Tanzania: Discovered in 1976 by Mary Leakey.
Clear evidence of bipedalism (walking upright habitually on 2 legs). Dates to
3.83.5 mya. Foot prints created by Australopithecus afarensis?

3. Australopithecus africanus: Similar to A. afarensis, but with a


bigger brain and a few other traits more similar to modern humans. 31.8
mya.
Taung child, South Africa: Discovered by Raymond Dart 1924.
Determined to be non-ape due to cranial capacity and position of foramen
magnum (hole in base of skull). 2.8 mya.

4. Homo habilis: first stone tool maker, 2.51.6 mya. Studied


intensively by Louis and Mary Leakey in the Olduvai Gorge, Rift Valley,
Tanzania. Associated with the Oldowan tool industry (very slow to change,
little regional variation, very simple and casual). Used frequently for
butchery and marrow extraction.
Summary of Tool Industry
******
Tool Industry
Oldowan
Characteristics 1. Very slow to change
2. Little Regional Variation
3. very simple + casual
4. frequently used for
butchery and marrow
extraction

Acheulean
1. signature tool of H. erectus
2. more tool designs than Oldowan
3. Hand axe: very versatile, requires
mental template
4. very routine for 1 mil years
5. enabled wider food base to be
exploited


Homo erectus (general)
Finds span: 1.8 mya50 kya in Africa, Europe, and Asia
Compared with Australopithecus, longer legs, thinner arms, larger
brains.
Hunter, fire user, tool maker, enhanced social relationships, first hominin
to migrate out of Africa.
Pretty much us. First to stand. First to be actually human
Could make decisions
Cranial capacity/brain size: 900cc. Increased brain size increased
the bodys demand for energy. Nutrition acquired through hunting animals
and consumption of meat, bone marrow (accessed by smashing bones), and
fat.
Brain endocasts: suggest fully modern Brocas area, suggestive of
enhances communication (according to Ralph Holloway)
Tools: Used Acheulean tool industry which includes the versatile hand
axe. Ability to make hand axe requires skill, knowledge of raw materials,
forethought, and mapping of a mental template. Enables wider food base to
be exploited.
Hunting: According to Daniel Lierberman, Homo erectus was an
endurance runner. The lack of body hair (inferred from genetic data from
differences between lice that inhabit human head hair and public hair) and
the ability to sweat, allowed humans to remain cool while running during the
hottest part of the day. This gave humans a competitive advantage over
their prey. Precision hunting running to exhaustion
------------- Cooking: Richard Wrangham (in a somewhat controversial theory)
suggests that the use of fire to cook food made food more digestible (leading
to smaller teeth and gut) and enabled social relationships to form at a more
complex level than before. Fire would have help humans protect themselves
from predators during the night.
Evidence for caring: 1) Old man at Dmanisi (described below) lived
for 2 years with no teeth. Others may have fed him and chewed his food. 2)
Turkana Boy had an advanced abscess in his jaw that would have been
incredibly painful. It is unlikely that he survived so long with this condition
without the help of others.

Turkana Boy
Discovered by Richard and Maeve Leakey along lake turkana in the
rift valley of Africa (aka Nariokotome boy)
Most complete specimen (parts of skull, spine, ribs, limbs)

Dates >1.5 mya

Height: estimates have varied. Most recent = 53


Age: estimates varied from 8-14/15

Distribution of Homo erectus finds


Homo erectus is widely thought to be the first hominin to migrate
out of Africa. All previous ancestors are found in Africa only.
Dmanisi: site in Georgian Republic provides evidence for Homo erectus
as early as 1.8 mya (K-Ar dating), much earlier than previously thought.
Remains from several individuals indicate a more primitive anatomy than
Turkana Boy. Roughly 4 6 with ape-like shoulders. Tool industry = Oldowan
(no use of hand axe!).

Other intriguing finds:

Island of Flores, Indonesia: In 2003, a new species Homo floresiensis


(9512 kya) was announced (otherwise known as the Hobbit). Individuals
are 3 tall with a 400cc brain and lower limbs similar to Australopithecus
afarensis. New species? Or evolved from Homo erectus? Or evolved from a
more archaic hominin that left Africa even earlier? Some suggest that the
Hobbit reflects island dwarfism that can result from isolated population
with limited food sources. Similar dwarfism is seen in elephants.

h. erectus originated in Africa. First species to migrate from Africa. All


things before in africa
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 22 EXAM
Download study guide from husky ct
quiz
Principle of uniformitarianism and law of super position (what and
who?)
Relative vs. absolute dating (K-Ar)

Australopithecus afarensis- importance of species (bipedalism,

dating, age) dates of upper and lower limit


Site locations: Ethiopia: aramis and hadar. Tanzania: laetoli and
olduvai. South Africa: taung (see map of early hominin sites)
Study maps where the countries are
homo neanderthalensis(Neanderthal)
William King: 1863

Determined that feldhofer skull from Germany was a different

species of homo: Homo neanderthalensis (named after neander


valley in Germany)
Found in 1856. Many Neanderthal remains found late 1800s/early
1900s
mercellin Boule: 1911-1913
Annales de Paleontologie

Depicted Neanderthals as ugly & brutish (still persists today)


Scholars now recognize Neanderthals were intelligent and complex,
innovative, highly skilled, sophisticated hunters
Homo heidelbergensis: limited occupation of western Europe until ca.
500,000 yrs ago]
Fossils recovered from western Europe

Evolution: Neanderthals thought to have evolved from h.

heidelbergensis in Europe (based on DNA)


anatomical features: large cranial capacity
o double arched brow ridges
o arctic body propotions (short limbs, decreases surface area to
retain heat)
o muscular w/ robust bones
o strong hands (evidence of arthritisis)
bergmanns Law: colder climate = bigger bodies

allens law: colder climates = short distal extremities


hunting: associated with Mousterian tool technology

tool

o thrusting spears, not projectiles


o possibly no division b/w male and female
o meat heavy diet
plant use
o tooth plaque shows consumption of cooked foods and plant
seeds and legumes
intentional burials: shows group caring and sharing
technology review
oldowan industry
o 2.6 mya: first stone tools (basal palaeolithic)
o typically associated with homo habilis
o simple, slow to change, little regional varation
o includes hammer stones
archeulean industry
o associated with lower palaeolithic

o more tool designs than oldowan


o hand axe: mental template signature tool of h. erectus
o erectus not first tool maker
Mousterian industry
o Associated with middle palaeolithic and Neanderthals
o Hand axe plus new tools
wide variety of cultural traditions in upper Paleolithic
40-30 K = Neanderthals extinct and replaced by humans

upper palaeolithic
ca. 40-10 kya

Sophisticated hunting cultures and technology


enhanced symbolic (uniformly understood) and social behavior
widespread use of art

new tools
o blades
o atlatl (throwing spear)
dolni vestonice, Czech republic 25 kya
o mammoth cache (800-900 bones)
killed and consumed by humans
used in burials: elderly women skull coated in red
ochre, buried beneath 2 mammoth shoulder bones
o ornaments

context: the in situ (in position) location and associations of finds


in 3 dimensions
importance: knowledge of the archaeological context forms the
foundation for detailed interpretation of all remains

Paleolithic art
cave art: painting, drawings, engravings, carvings
o art not only made in caves, but is best preserved in caves
o best preserved art
o found in many caves in southwestern Europe (conservation
and research intensity. If looked more would find more)
o frequently superimposed
reuse for 1000s years. People draw over other art, but
they are connected
o focused on placement and using rocks and suck in caves
o tools:
flint tools for engraving (no metal yet)
charcoal, mineral-based paint
limestone lamps
scaffolding- would try to get to hard to reach places
o basic themes
animals
figurative, naturalistic representations
most common in art
always bigger than other things in pic

limited # of animal species (which lived, which


were hunted, which were consumed)
some represented different animals depending on
the culture
human representation
generally one human figure per cave
often schematic (did not detail humans, but
detailed animals)
often engraved rather than painted
anatomical parts (hand, sex parts) deformed
replaced by animal parts (ie. Horns, antlers,
paws)
hands a big deal. Would trace hands on
wall. Often were missing a finger
signs (dont know what they mean)
no landscapes or plants
o interpretation of cave art
difficult to do
art for arts sake
reflects more mature and complex people
hunting magic theory
abbot henry breuil: ensures successful hunt
animals hurt by arrows/spears
food animals rarely represented
art is diverse and complex
no single theory: spatial and temporal variability

social context of the images important


current approach, most often used

portable art:

engraved antler, bone, ivory


figurines in ivory, soft stone, baked clay
ornamentation: teeth and shell pendants
instruments
wider range of representation
ivory horse
venus figurines (naked women)
relatively realistics
no ears, face, hands, or feet
o engraves and carved objects are often more detailed then
paintings
Lascaux, france
Abbot henry breuil discovered unicorn
o
o
o
o
o

Red cow: shows mastery of perpestive

chauvet, france
discovered 1994: jean marie
QUIZ
key concept:

homo erectus and neaderthals

o name of time period associated with.


Homo = lower plaleolithihc
Neand = middle p.
middle Paleolithic time period
distributed of fossils restricted to Europe and
southwest Asia
recent DNA expands area to Siberia
remains have been found in Africa
existed ca. 200,000-40,000 BP
expansion of homo erectus. Moved from Africa
roughly 1.8 mya to Europe and asia. Populations
in each area may have evolved differently
William King found skull
Tool industries (acheuleans, Mousterian)
o archeulean industry
associated with lower palaeolithic
more tool designs than oldowan
hand axe: mental template signature tool of h.
erectus
erectus not first tool maker
o Mousterian industry
Associated with middle palaeolithic and Neanderthals
Hand axe plus new tools
o Oldowan

1.
2.
3.
4.

Very slow to change


Little Regional Variation
very simple + casual
frequently used for
butchery and marrow extraction
homo habilis

o
Bahaviors (in the video, last week) (Neanderthal behavior
cooking, barring of dead_

TEST
Geographical range of each species (where are theyre remains founds)
Homo- started in africa and spread
Neand maybe in Europe but maybe asia
Be able to put on map
Physical characteristics of homo and neand
Names of sites + importants
Study guide on husky ct