Introduction to Archeology

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A brief overview of how archaeology contributes to the studying of history.

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Introduction to Archeology

  1. 1. ARCHEOLOGY: A METHOD OF STUDYING HISTORY
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION • Archeology: the study of human history and prehistory through excavation and the analysis of artifacts and other remains. • Artifacts found are a primary resource for anthropologists, ethnologists, paleontologists, biologists, and historians. • Archeology is essentially destruction: once a site has been excavated, it can never be reworked. • Accurate and meticulous notes are essential. • A grid is made of the site with all notes painfully recorded in detail.
  3. 3. DIG TEAM • Members of an archeological dig can include: • Field Director: trained and licensed archeologist • Supervisors and crew • Photographers and surveyors • Analyzers: historians, zoologists, botanists, geographers, pathologists (medical)
  4. 4. TYPES OF ARTIFACTS • Inorganic remains – remains like stone tools or pottery that have been created • Marks on tools can give information on what it is used for • Stones used for specified tasks and their quarries • Pottery is the most common of all archeological finds • Style, clay, name of the potter all provide clues • Organic remains – remains of living things (plants and animals) • Best preserved in dry/hot regions, freezing conditions, or in waterlogged areas (peat bogs preserve flesh but not bones because they are acidic)
  5. 5. CONCLUSIONS FROM FINDINGS • Wood – was it from the environment or used by humans? Used in buildings or as a tool? • Human Remains • Age - analyse the teeth for you, bone fusions for adults • Sex – bone structure (pelvis, density) • Disease – deformation of bones (arthritis, tuberculosis, syphilis) • Cause of death – wounds from weapons (swords, holes) • Archeologists are really just detectives or crime scene investigators but of ancient sites
  6. 6. HOMEWORK • Bring in one random item from home. • Imagine it is the year 4000 CE and you are an archaeologist examining these objects. • Hypothesize characteristics of the civilization that left these artifacts behind. • Be prepared to defend your hypotheses with proof to a partner or maybe the class.

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