Week 2 intro to archaeology

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Week 2 intro to archaeology

  1. 1. ANT 102: Archaeology: Mysteries and Controversies. Monday, August 27th What is Archaeology? Matt Krebs Matt KrebsMatt Krebs
  2. 2. ANT 102: Archaeology : Mysteries and Controversies. Archaeology: Learning about humans in the past through systematic interpretation of the physical remains of the past and their context. 1. HUMANS IN THE PAST
  3. 3. ANT 102: Archaeology : Mysteries and Controversies. Archaeology: Learning about humans in the past through systematic interpretation of the physical remains of the past and their context. 1. HUMANS IN THE PAST (Interdisciplinary) 2. SYSTEMATIC Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
  4. 4. ANT 102: Archaeology : Mysteries and Controversies. Archaeology: Learning about humans in the past through systematic interpretation of the physical remains of the past and their context. 1. HUMANS IN THE PAST (Interdisciplinary) 2. SYSTEMATIC 3. PHYSICAL REMAINS a. Artifacts
  5. 5. ANT 102: Archaeology : Mysteries and Controversies. Archaeology: Learning about humans in the past through systematic interpretation of the physical remains of the past and their context. 1. HUMANS IN THE PAST 2. SYSTEMATIC 3. PHYSICAL REMAINS a. Artifacts b. Ecofacts
  6. 6. ANT 102: Archaeology : Mysteries and Controversies. Archaeology: Learning about humans in the past through systematic interpretation of the physical remains of the past and their context. 1. HUMANS IN THE PAST 2. SYSTEMATIC 3. PHYSICAL REMAINS The Parthenon, Athens, Greece a. Artifacts b. Ecofacts c. Features
  7. 7. ANT 102: Archaeology : Mysteries and Controversies. Archaeology: Learning about humans in the past through systematic interpretation of the physical remains of the past and their context. 1. HUMANS IN THE PAST 2. SYSTEMATIC 3. PHYSICAL REMAINS a. Artifacts b. Ecofacts c. Features Can we learn anything about this pot without context? 4. CONTEXT
  8. 8. ANT 102: Archaeology : Mysteries and Controversies. Archaeology: Learning about humans in the past through systematic interpretation of the physical remains of the past and their context. 1. HUMANS IN THE PAST 2. SYSTEMATIC 3. PHYSICAL REMAINS a. Artifacts b. Ecofacts c. Features 4. CONTEXT Copan
  9. 9. ANT 102: Archaeology : Mysteries and Controversies. Archaeology: Learning about humans in the past through systematic interpretation of the physical remains of the past and their context. 1. HUMANS 2. SYSTEMATIC 3. PHYSICAL REMAINS a. Artifacts b. Ecofacts c. Features 4. CONTEXT a. Provenience b. Association
  10. 10. ANT 102: Archaeology : Mysteries and Controversies. Archaeology: Learning about humans in the past through systematic interpretation of the physical remains of the past and their context. 1. HUMANS Layers of ash covering house 1 at Ceren 2. SYSTEMATIC 3. PHYSICAL REMAINS a. Artifacts b. Ecofacts c. Features 4. CONTEXT a. Provenience b. Association c. Matrix
  11. 11. ANT 102: Archaeology : Mysteries and Controversies. Archaeology: Learning about humans in the past through systematic interpretation of the physical remains of the past and their context. 1. HUMANS 2. SYSTEMATIC 3. PHYSICAL REMAINS a. Artifacts b. Ecofacts c. Features 4. CONTEXT a. Provenience b. Association c. Matrix
  12. 12. ANT 102: Archaeology : Mysteries and Controversies. Archaeology: Learning about humans in the past through systematic interpretation of the physical remains of the past and their context. 1. HUMANS 2. SYSTEMATIC Archaeological Record 3. PHYSICAL REMAINS a. Artifacts b. Ecofacts c. Features 4. CONTEXT a. Provenience b. Association c. Matrix
  13. 13. Archaeological Record: Material remains of the past 1) Artifacts – Human-made, generally portable objects 2) Ecofacts – Non-man made items such as plant remains animal bones, soils, sediments 3) Features --Hearth, burial, oven, pit Archaeological Record also includes the context: Matrix: The soils and sediments that surround an artifact, ecofact or feature Provenience: Specific horizontal and vertical position of an artifact, ecofact, or feature. Association: The other artifacts, ecofacts and features that something is found with.
  14. 14. ANT 102: Archaeology : Mysteries and Controversies. Archaeology: Learning about humans in the past through systematic interpretation of the physical remains of the past and their context. 1. HUMANS 2. SYSTEMATIC 3. PHYSICAL REMAINS a. Artifacts b. Ecofacts c. Features 4. CONTEXT Why did the owners of this pot a. Provenience put it in a grave?? b. Association c. Matrix 5. INTERPRETATION
  15. 15. Things that count as archaeology: Quantifying the number of pollen grains from trees versus grasses in 12000 year old layers of sediment in a gulch in Arizona. Environmental Archaeology or Paleo-ecology
  16. 16. Things that count as archaeology: Documenting 1970s graffiti in an apartment in London. Sid Vicious Johny Rotten
  17. 17. Things that count as archaeology: Documenting 1970s graffiti in an apartment in London. Historical archaeology
  18. 18. Things that count as archaeology: Studying microscopic marks that hyenas and other scavengers leave on bones Experimental Archaeology
  19. 19. Archaeology: Learning about humans in the past through systematic interpretation of thephysical remains of the past and their context. 1. HUMANS IN THE PAST (Interdisciplinary) 2. SYSTEMATIC 3. ANALYSIS OF PHYSICAL REMAINS 4. IMPORTANT OF CONTEXT 5. INTERPRETATION
  20. 20. Ucí-Cansahcab Regional Integration ProjectInvestigating Ancient Maya Regional Integration in Yucatan, Mexico
  21. 21. How can we explain this regional integration? Why was the causeway built? 1) Who’s in charge? What was the regional capital? 2) When was the causeway built and when was it abandoned? 3) Did the political capital heavily regulate other nearby towns? 4) Was this political integration helpful to people living nearby?
  22. 22. Systematic: explore far in multiple directions to ensure that you find the boundariesInterdisciplinary: using technology and methods from surveying and geography (GPS, GIS)
  23. 23. How can we explain this regional integration? Why was the causeway built? 1) What was the likely political capital? Uci (at least during the period from 1 to 550 AD) 2) When was the causeway built and when was it abandoned?
  24. 24. The building was builtbetween about 250 and 500 AD
  25. 25. The building was builtbetween about 250 and 500 AD
  26. 26. Sacbe built before theEarly Classic. (pre 250 AD)Sacbe built during or afterthe Late Preclassic (post 100 BC) 100 BC to 250 ADIn the core of the sacbe, wefound Middle Preclassic andLate Preclassic ceramics CONTEXT (provenience and associaton) CLOSE ANALYSIS OF REMAINS OF PAST (CERAMICS)
  27. 27. How can we explain this regional integration? Why was the causeway built? 1) What was the likely political capital? Uci (at least during the period from 1 to 550 AD) 2) When was the causeway built? 100 BC (?) to 250 AD (corresponds pretty well to the rise of Uci) 3) Did the political capital heavily regulate other nearby towns?
  28. 28. Ancient Maya ballgame
  29. 29. Alley of ballcourt Santa Teresa 15Q-d(5)
  30. 30. Ballcourt
  31. 31. Ballcourtshowinglocation ofexcavationsNumber of50 x 50cmunits: 94 Systematic
  32. 32. Interdisciplinary: Use of soil chemistry
  33. 33. Topographic map of ballcourt area, Santa Teresa site 5 cm
  34. 34. In sum, ballcourt was a location both for formalballplaying, but also ceremonial meals.It was built around 700 BC, after the decline of Uci
  35. 35. How can we explain this regional integration? Why was the causeway built? 1) What was the likely political capital? Uci (at least during the period from 1 to 550 AD) 2) When was the causeway built and when was it abandoned? 100 BC (?) to 250 AD (corresponds pretty well to the rise of Uci) 3) Did the political capital heavily regulate other nearby towns? Possibly: --When Uci is flexing its muscles, other sites are on the wane --When Uci declines, smaller sites assert a level of independent political and ritual organization 4) Was this political integration helpful to people living nearby? One might think that villagers would now get access to the broader trade connections and other economic benefits of being part of a large center
  36. 36. Systematic --305 mini-pits --50m3 of excavation (green)
  37. 37. So if they weren’t using many pots, what did they use to store water and cook and serve food? Baskets and gourds? INTERPRETIVE: (which means not fully certain, but there is at least some data that makes the interpretation plausible)
  38. 38. Baskets as seen in ancient Baskets depicted on Pots Maya paintings K1669K559 K8461 K1669 K8277 K718 K625 K1392 K6355
  39. 39. Pots as baskets
  40. 40. Pots as gourds
  41. 41. How can we explain this regional integration? Why was the causeway built? 1) What was the likely political capital? Uci (at least during the period from 1 to 550 AD) 2) When was the causeway built and when was it abandoned? 100 BC (?) to 250 AD (corresponds pretty well to the rise of Uci) 3) Did the political capital heavily regulate other nearby towns? Possibly: --Kancab seems to diminish soon after the sacbe was built. --Smaller sites assert a level of independent political and ritual organization in Late Classic, when Uci is in decline. 4) Was this political integration helpful to people living nearby? Apparently not --People along the causeway did not get exotic goods --They continued to use cheap perishable tools, such as gourds
  42. 42. So, in this example, we see the key aspects of archaeology at work: Using systematic methods… …that are often interdisciplinary, …and that pay close attention to context, …to acquire physical remains of the past …that help us make interpretations …about past human events.

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