Ethnography and ethnoarchaeology can shed light on questions concerning technology as many modern cultural groups make tools and pottery that are similar to those used in the past. Experimental archaeology also helps researchers understand how artifacts were made and what they were used for. Many archaeologists have become proficient in activities like stone tool manufacture for just this reason. Despite the indications offered by ethnography and experimental archaeology, only microwear studies can prove how a stone tool was used and what material it was used on.
Stone tools are often made by removing material from a core until a desired shape is obtained. The flakes removed from the core can also be used as tools in their own right. Long parallel-sided blades, however, dominate in some parts of the world. Because blades are removed from a core systematically a large number of tools can be produced while very little raw material is wasted. Copper was the most important metal used in early times. The alloying of copper to produce bronze represents a significant step forward in metallurgical practice: the resulting alloy is both stronger and less brittle than copper alone.
There are a variety of different methods by which metal and metal artifacts can be produced or manufactured. Casting using the lost-wax method was an important development. The survival of organic materials depends on the matrix that surrounds them and the climate they were deposited in. The acidic soils of tropical climates are the most destructive to organic materials, while dry, desert environments and extremely cold or waterlogged environments are most likely to preserve them. KEY CONCEPT IDENTIFICATIONS Are They Artifacts at All? Eoliths, p. 308 ,Bulb of percussion, p.
308 Extraction: Mines and Quarries Mines, p. 311 Quarries, p. 311 Stone Tool Manufacture Core, p. 315, Retouching, p. 315, Levallois technique, p. 315, Oldowan industry, p. 315, Knapping, p. 317 Refitting, p. 319 Identifying the Function of Stone Tools: Microwear Studies Microwear analysis, p. 319 Other Unaltered Materials Bone, antler, shell, and leather, p. 324 Wood, p. 327 Watercraft, p. 328; 330 Textiles, pp. 330-332 Fiber microwear analysis, p. 332 Synthetic Materials Pyrotechnology, p. 332 Pottery, p. 334 Temper, p. 334 Kilns, pp. 334-335 Faience, p.
335 Glass, p. 336 Archaeometallurgy Non-Ferrous Metals, p. 337 Alloying, pp. 337-338 Metallographic examination, p. 338 Casting, pp. 339-340 Lost-wax technique, pp. 339-340 Slag, p. 342 Platinum, p. 343 Copper Production in Ancient Peru Tuyeres, pp. 340-341 Fine Metalwork Filigree, p. 343 Plating, p. 344 Iron and Steel Iron smelting, p. 344 Steelmaking, p. 345 CHAPTER 9 What Contact Did They Have? Trade And Exchange Summary Trade and exchange systems can be reconstructed if the materials in question are distinctive enough for their source to be identified.
When an artifact found in one location is determined to have its origin in another location, contact between the two locations has occurred. Through characterization, artifacts are examined for the characteristic properties of the material from which they are made, thus allowing the source of that material to be determined. For this to work, there must be something about the source of the material that distinguishes it from other sources. The observation of stone objects in thin section, for example, allows the researcher to identify the source of the stone based on its mineral components.
The trace elements of an object, which are found in very small quantities, can be used to characterize an object. Neutron activation analysis, for example, can source a piece of obsidian to a particular volcano and, sometimes, even a particular eruption of that volcano. When written records exist they offer a wealth of information about the distribution of goods. Trade goods are often marked by their producer in some way (such as with a clay sealing or even a written name) and from this information a distribution map can be created based on where the goods of a particular producer have been found.
Distribution maps aid in the spatial analysis of sites or artifacts. Another way to visualize distribution is through fall-off analysis, where quantities of material found are plotted against the distance of their find spot from the materials source. Greater understanding of trade networks comes from studies of production in areas such as mines and quarries, and the study of consumption of goods. Societies that had contact with each other through trade of material goods also exchanged ideas and other information. This most likely had a direct role in the spread of technology, language, and culture.
KEY CONCEPT IDENTIFICATIONS The Study of Interaction Exchange, p. 347 Scale and World System World system, p. 348 Internal exchange, p. 348 External exchange, p. 348 Gift Exchange and Reciprocity Kula, p. 350 Modes of Exchange Reciprocity, p. 351 Redistribution, p. 351 Market exchange, p. 351 Materials of Prestige Value Intrinsic value, p. 352 Valuables and Commodities Primitive valuables, p. 354 Sphere of exchange, p. 354 Discovering the Sources of Traded Goods Characterization, p. 355 Analytical Methods Thin-section analysis, p. 355 Trace-element analysis, pp.
355-356 Isotopic analysis, pp. 360-361 Analyzing Artifact Composition Atomic absorption spectrometry, p. 358 X-ray florescence analysis, p. 358 Neutron activation analysis, p. 359 The Study of Distribution Direct access, p. 362 Obsidian, p. 366 Trend surface analysis, p. 368 Fall-off analysis, p. 369 Distribution, pp. 370-371 The Study of Production Production, p. 372 The Study of Consumption Consumption, p. 373; 374 Exchange and Interaction: The Complete System Interaction spheres, p. 378; 379 Competition, p. 378 Peer-polities, p. 378 CHAPTER 10 What Did They Think?
Cognitive Archaeology, Art, And Religion Summary Cognitive archaeology is the study of past ways of thought through material remains. Humans are distinguished from other life forms by their use of symbols; all intelligent speech and thought are based on these symbols. The meaning ascribed to a symbol is specific to a particular cultural tradition and depictions as well as material objects do not directly disclose their meaning to archaeologists. The origins of self-consciousness and the development of a cognitive map are hotly debated but there is little archaeological evidence to clarify the matter.
Tool manufacturing and the deliberate burial of the dead are two of many ways we may investigate the cognitive behaviour of early humans. The act of burial itself implies feelings for the dead. Archaeologists recognize that grave-goods in a burial are chosen to give a representation of the identity of the deceased. The existence of writing implies a major extension of the cognitive map as written symbols are the most effective way that humans can describe the world around them and communicate with others. Material symbols are put to a variety of uses. They can establish place by
marking territory, organize the natural world into units of time and distance, serve as instruments of planning, regulate relations between people through use of material constructs such as money, bring people closer to the supernatural or transcendent, and even describe the world itself through artistic representation. All of these material symbols can be seen in various ways in the archaeological record. New developments in areas such as the study of early musical behaviour and cognitive science indicate fresh pathways for cognitive archaeology. KEY CONCEPT IDENTIFICATIONS Introduction Cognitive archaeology, p.
381 Theory and Method Cognitive map, p. 382 Investigating how Human Symbolizing Faculties Evolved Language development, p. 383 The food-sharing hypothesis, p. 384 Deliberate burial of human remains, p. 385 Representations, p. 385; 389 Paleolithic Art Parietal art, pp. 386-387 Mobiliary art, pp. 386-387 Working with Symbols The basic use of symbols, pp. 389-390 From Written Source to Cognitive Map Literacy restriction, p. 390 Greek literacy, p. 392 Establishing the Place Domus, p. 393 Landscape archaeology, p. 393 Measuring the World Units of time, p. 396 Units of length, p. 396 Units of weight, pp.
396-397 Symbols of Organization and Power Money, p. 400 Intrinsic value, p. 401 Symbols for the Otherworld: The Archaeology of Religion Archaeology of cult, p. 403 Focusing of attention, p. 404 Identifying the Supernatural Powers Iconography, p. 415 Depiction: Art and Representation Fertility goddess, p. 410 Symmetry analysis, p. 411 Individual artists, pp. 412-413 Mythic thought, p. 412 Aesthetics, p. 416 Music and Cognition Defining music, p. 416 Mind and Material Engagement Embodied cognition, p. 418 Cognition and Neuroscience The learning process, p. 419 CHAPTER 11 Who Were They? What Were They Like?
The Bioarchaeology Of People Summary The physical remains of past peoples provide direct evidence about their lives. Bioarchaeology is the study of human remains from archaeological sites. Though whole human bodies can be preserved in a variety of ways, including mummification and freezing, the vast majority of human remains recovered by archaeologists are in the form of skeletons and bone fragments. An important part of the analysis of human remains is the identification of physical attributes. The sex of skeletal remains, for example, can be determined through observing the shape of the pelvis as well as other bones.
Teeth can help establish an individuals relative age at death, namely whether they were young, adult or old. It is even possible to reconstruct what an individual looked like through careful analysis of skull features. When intact bodies such as mummies are found, the precise cause of death can sometimes be deduced. For skeletal remains, the cause of death can only rarely be determined as most afflictions leave no trace on bone. Only the effects of violence, accident, congenital deformity, and a handful of diseases can be seen on bones.
Evidence for early medicine is found through both written and physical sources. Those cultures that developed writing recorded a number of maladies and their respective cures. Physically, archaeological remains can, at times, show the marks of surgery. Surgical equipment has been recovered from contexts all over the world. Demographic archaeology utilizes archaeological information to make estimates about the size, density, and growth rate of populations. This can be done through analysis of settlement data as well as the richness of a particular environment in terms of its animal and plant resources.
Much of the best evidence for early population movements comes from the analysis of modern genetic material. The genetic analysis of living populations can only tell us about past cultures that have living descendants. KEY CONCEPT IDENTIFICATIONS Introduction Bioarchaeology, p. 421 Identifying Physical Attributes Determining sex, p. 423 Determining lifespan, p. 425 Epiphyses, p. 425 Osteons, p. 427 Height, p. 427 Weight, p. 428 Facial reconstruction, pp. 428-429 How Were They Related? Blood groups, p. 431 DNA analysis, p. 431; 433 Assessing Human Abilities Walking, pp. 433-435 Handedness, pp.
435-436 Speech, pp. 436-438 Brain endocasts, p. 436 Sexual behavior, p. 440 Cannibalism, p. 440; pp. 438-439 Disease, Deformity, and Death Forensic archaeology, p. 441 Bacteria and parasites, p. 44 Evidence of violence, p. 445 Harris lines, p. 447 Lead poisoning, p. 448 Early medicine, p. 449 Examining Bodies Computed axial tomography, pp. 442-443 Magnetic Resonance Imaging, pp. 442-443 Assessing Nutrition Malnutrition, p. 453 The rise of agriculture, p. 454 Population Studies Demographic archaeology, p. 454 Paleodemography, p. 454 Diversity and Evolution Mitochondrial Eve, p.
457 Ancient genomics, p. 459 Genetics and Language Histories Macrofamilies, pp. 458-459 CHAPTER 12 Why Did Things Change? Explanation In Archaeology Summary A difficult but important task of archaeology is to answer the question why and indeed much of archaeology has focused on the investigation of why things change. Before the 1960s changes in material and social culture were explained by migration and cultural diffusion. The processual approach of New Archaeology, which began to take hold in the 1960s, attempted to isolate the different processes at work within a society.
Rather than placing an emphasis on movements of people as the primary cause of change and development, early processual archaeologists looked more to humanitys relationship with its environment, on subsistence and economy, and the other processes at work within a society to explain why a society was how it was. Processual archaeology often addresses big questions such as the rise of agriculture and the origins of the state. In general, multivariate (several factor) explanations are better than monocausal (single factor) ones.
Marxist archaeology, focusing on the effects of class struggle within a society, does not contradict the ideas of processual archaeology, and nor does evolutionary archaeology, which is centered on the idea that the processes responsible for biological evolution also drive culture change. As a reaction to the functionalist approach of early processual archaeology, so-called postprocessual approaches developed in the 1980s and 1990s, emphasizing the subjectivity of archaeological interpretations and drawing on structuralist thinking and neo-Marxist analysis.
New cognitive-processual approaches in the 1990s sought to overcome some of the limitations of early processual archaeology. A greater emphasis is placed on the concepts and beliefs of past societies, and the difficulty of testing hypotheses concerning culture change is recognized. One aim of contemporary archaeology is to keep track of the individual in explaining change. Agency, defined as the short-term intentionality of an individual, may indeed have long-term and unforeseen consequences that lead to cultural change.
Another aim is to recognize the active role of material culture in the way humans engage with the world. KEY CONCEPT IDENTIFICATIONS Migrationist and Diffusionist Explanations Diffusion, p. 464 The Processual Approach Processual (New) archaeology, p. 467 Applications Functional-processual approach, p. 471 Cognitive-processual approach, p. 471 Marxist Archaeology: Key Features Marxist archaeology, p. 471 Evolutionary Archaeology Human behavioral ecology, p. 473 Richard Dawkins, p. 473 The Form of Explanation: General or Particular Idealism, p. 475 Natural laws, p. 476 Deductive-nomothetic explanation, p.
476 Historiographic, p. 476 Scientistic, p. 476 Hypothetico-deductive explanation, p. 476 The Individual Identity, p. 476 Monocausal Explanations: Monocausal explanation, p. 477 Hydraulic hypothesis, p. 477 Environmental circumscription, p. 478 Multivariate Explanations Multivariate explanation, p. 480 Systems approach, p. 480 Negative feedback, p. 480 Homeostasis, p. 480 Simulation Simulation, p. 481 Model, p. 481 Postprocessual or Interpretive Explanation Structuralist approaches, p. 485 Critical Theory, p. 485 Relativism, p. 485 Neo-Marxism, p. 488 Cognitive Archaeology
Cognitive-processual archaeology, p. 488 Agency and Material Engagement Agency, p. 490 CHAPTER 13 Archaeology In Action: Five Case Studies Summary Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practice is primarily about how we know what we know, and how we find out ” in philosophical terms, about the epistemology of archaeology. To complete the picture, it is important to see something of archaeology in action: to consider a few real field projects where the questions and methods have come together and produced, with the aid of the relevant specialisms, some genuine advance in our knowledge.
The questions we ask are themselves dependent on what, and how much, we already know. Sometimes the archaeologist starts work in archaeologically virgin territory where little or no previous research has been undertaken as for instance when the Southeast Asian specialist Charles Higham began his fieldwork in Thailand (see our fourth case study, KhokPhanom Di: the Origins of Rice Farming in Southeast Asia).
In the Valley of Oaxaca in Mexico, on the other hand our first case study when Kent Flannery and his colleagues began work more than four decades ago, little was understood of the evolution in Mesoamerica of what we would call complex society, although the great achievements of the Olmec and the Maya were already well known. The work of the Flannery team has involved continual formulation of new models. It represents an excellent example of the truism that new facts (data) lead to new questions (and new theories), and these in turn to the discovery of new facts.
The second study, devoted to Floridas Calusa Project, investigates the apparent paradox of a sedentary, complex, and powerful society that was almost entirely based on hunting, fishing, and gathering. Until the 1980s, nearly everything known about the Calusa came from Spanish ethnohistorical accounts, but archaeology is transforming and expanding our knowledge of many aspects of this prehistoric culture. Our third case study follows the research project of Val Attenbrow and her associates in Upper Mangrove Creek, southeastern Australia.
Here archaeologists have attempted to study the traces left by small groups of highly mobile hunter-gatherers, and to establish their technological responses to environmental changes over time. The transformation in our knowledge of prehistoric Australia and Southeast Asia over the course of the last 50 years has been one of the most exciting developments to have taken place in modern archaeology. The Upper Mangrove Creek and KhokPhanom Di projects, with their close integration of both environmental and archaeological studies, have played an important part in that transformation.
Our fifth case study focuses on the work of the York Archaeological Trust in the northern English city of York. This is a project of a very different kind: working under all the constraints of archaeology in a modern urban setting, the York unit has set out to present its findings to the public in a novel and effective way, and JORVIK, their visitor center, has for the past 25 years led the way in this aspect of public archaeology. CHAPTER 14 Whose Past? Archaeology And The Public The past has different meanings for different people, and often personal identity is defined by the past.
Increasingly archaeology is playing a role in the definition of national identity where the past is used to legitimize the present by reinforcing a sense of national greatness. Ethnicity, which is just as strong a force today as in earlier times, relies upon the past for legitimization as well, sometimes with destructive consequences. Ethics is the science of what is right and wrong, or morality, and most branches of archaeology are seen to have an ethical dimension. Until recent decades archaeologists gave little thought to such questions as who owns the past?
Now every archaeological decision should take ethical concerns into account. We cannot simply dismiss the alternative theories of fringe archaeology as farcical, because they have been so widely believed. Anyone who has read this book, and who understands how archaeology proceeds, will already see why such writings are a delusion. The real antidote is a kind of healthy skepticism: to ask where is the evidence? Knowledge advances by asking questions that is the central theme of this book, and there is no better way to disperse the lunatic fringe than by asking difficult questions, and looking skeptically at the answers.
The archaeology of every land has its own contribution to make to the understanding of human diversity and hence of the human condition. Although earlier scholars behaved with flagrant disregard for the feelings and beliefs of native peoples, interest in these matters today is not an attempt further to appropriate the native past. Perhaps the saddest type of archaeological destruction comes from the looting of sites. Through this act, all information is destroyed in the search for highly salable artifacts. Museums and collectors bear some of the responsibility for this.
Museums are also under increasing pressure to return antiquities to their lands of origin. Police now consider the theft and smuggling of art and antiquities to be second in scale only to the drug trade in the world of international crime. KEY CONCEPT IDENTIFICATIONS Archaeology and Identity Identity, p. 536 Archaeological Ethics Ethics, p. 538 Popular Archaeology versus Pseudoarchaeology Pseudoarchaeology, p. 538, Other archaeologies, p. 538, Piltdown Man, pp. 538-539, Atlantis, p. 539 Archaeological fraud, p. 540 Who Owns the Past?
The Elgin Marbles, p. 541, Repatriation, p. 543, NAGPRA, p. 543, Kennewick Man, p. 543 The Responsibility of Collectors and Museums Illegal antiquities, p. 544, Looters, p. 544 CHAPTER 15 The Future Of The Past: How To Manage The Heritage? Summary Many nations believe that it is the duty of the government to have policies with regard to conservation, and these conservation laws often apply to archaeology. Construction, agricultural intensification, conflict, tourism, and looting are all human activities that damage or destroy sites.
Built on a strong legal foundation, Cultural Resource Management (CRM) or applied archaeology plays a major role in American archaeology. When a project is on federal land, uses federal money, or needs a federal permit, the law requires that cultural resources are identified, evaluated, and if they cannot be avoided, addressed accordingly in an approved mitigation plan. A large number of private contract archaeology firms employ the majority of archaeologists in the US. These firms are responsible for meeting mitigation requirements, overseen by a lead agency and an SHPO.
Publication of final reports is required, but the variable quality and usually limited dissemination of these reports remain a problem. Archaeologists have a duty to report what they find. Since excavation is, to a certain extent, destructive, published material is often the only record of what was found at a site. Perhaps up to 60 percent of modern excavations remain unpublished after 10 years. The Internet and the popular media can help to fulfill one of the fundamental purposes of archaeology: to provide the public with a better understanding of the past.
Besides nationalistic or religious views in the interpretation and presentation of the past, we have to be aware of gender-bias in the often still male-dominated world of archaeology. Museums are increasingly seen as theaters of memory in which local and national identities are defined. Another source of bias is the ubiquity of the use of the English language in archaeological discourse, and the dominance of one ethnic group or class over another in different parts of the world. Prehistoric archaeology, with its emphasis on material, non-verbal culture, is well placed to overcome these difficulties.
KEY CONCEPT IDENTIFICATIONS The Response: Survey, Conservation, and Mitigation Survey, p. 552, Environmental assessment, p. 552, American Antiquities Act, p. 552, CRM, p. 553 Conservation, pp. 552-553, Mitigation, pp. 552-553, SHPO, p. 556, Portable Antiquities Scheme, p. 558 UNESCO, p. 559, The World Heritage List, p. 559, The 1954 Hague Convention, p. 559 Heritage Management, Display, and Tourism Heritage, p. 562 English Heritage, p. 562 Who Interprets and Presents the Past? Public presentation, p. 563 Museum studies, p.
564 The Past for All People and All Peoples Scientific colonialism, p. 565 CHAPTER 16 The New Searchers: Building A Career In Archaeology Many readers of the preceding editions of Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and Practice have wondered how one can set about developing a career in archaeology which may be in the field of archaeological research (whether in a university or as an independent researcher), or it may be in a more administrative capacity as a government employee, or in the business of heritage tourism.
So we have invited five professionals, all earning their living by doing archaeology, to tell their own story. Each is actively engaged in research, in the creation of new knowledge: in that sense they are the new searchers, the counterparts and successors of the pioneer searchers discussed in Chapter 1. They are not a random sample; different invitations might have produced different responses. But they are all part of that now vast international enterprise involved in investigating, reconstructing, and disseminating knowledge of the human past.
They are all established archaeologists but at different stages in their careers. Their backgrounds are also different. Yet most of them have something in common: they came to archaeology fortuitously, by chance, as it were. This is hardly surprising, since the practice of archaeology is not a major profession like medicine or the law or retail selling. But each of them, by some means, caught the bug.
That bug, the back-looking curiosity as Glyn Daniel once called it, that fascination with the human past is what drives them: each expresses it in their own way. The joy they express (The most rewarding thing I have ever discovered) is not simply discovering and uncovering objects that have lain hidden for thousands of years. It is the pleasure of making sense of the data, making sense of the past. The archaeologist of today, as of yesterday, is a person of wide horizons, with knowledge of the human past, and with a concern for the human future.