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									ANTH 233/433                                                                 Oglala Lakota College
                                                                                     Spring 2010

                        Archaeology Midterm Study Guide
You are allowed to bring in one piece of paper with personal notes for your exam (you
may write on both sides). You may find it useful to also bring a calculator (nothing will
be more complicating than adding and dividing). Cell phone calculators will work fine. I
will also bring a calculator to share. 400 level students will be presented with an exercise
like the one found at the end of Chapter 10 (p293-294). This will be optional, but worth
extra credit, to 200 level students.

This exam will be a combination of 1) short answers, 2) short essays (2-3 paragraphs),
and 3) exercises where you will be expected to solve some of the same sorts of puzzles
we practiced in class. There will be no multiple choice questions.

                                          In-Class Material
Define archaeology.

Be able to describe at least two ways (in your own words) why archaeology is important.

Describe the differences between artifacts, features, ecofacts, and sites.

In a short essay, explain why archaeology is part of anthropology in North America (think
Moundbuilder Debate). What are the other parts of anthropology?

Be able to describe the differences between our classroom garbage and your garbage from home.
Do the two indicate any differences in function?

Describe the difference between primary, secondary, and de facto deposits.

Describe the Tucson garbage study? What general hypotheses did archaeologists develop which
you could imagine testing somewhere else?

What is the law of superposition? What is stratigraphy? A good review of both can be found in
Chapter 9.

Be prepared to look at a diagram illustrating different stratigraphic layers and be able to identify
which ones are the oldest and which ones are younger?

Using what we learned by studying garbage and stratigraphy, why is important to know exactly
where an artifact came from (or its provenience)?

Describe the difference between relative dating and absolute dating. Chapter 8 is a nice review of
both of these.

Be able to describe how one absolute dating method works (you will need to get this from your

Define seriation.

Be prepared to do a simple frequency seriation (the one with battleship curves). A review of this
is in Chapter 7, page 194-195.

Be prepared to do a stylistic pottery seriation like the one we practiced in class.

What does the Chaîne Opératoire refer to?

What is a cortical flake?

What are the differences between emblemic and assertive styles? How are these different from
how we thought about style in our seriation exercise?

Were the Kalahari San Arrowheads examples of emblemic or assertive styles? Illustrations of
some of these points are in Chapter 7, page 180.

Who were the Neaderthals?

How does La Grotte de Combe-Grenal in France illustrate the different ways that archaeologists
interpret artifacts?

In a short essay, be able to describe how they might have represented different ethnic groups
(Bordes), differences over time (our Seriation exercise), differences in the production process
(our Flintknapping exercise), or differences in function (Binford, our Garbage exercise, our
Chapter 10 exercise).

                                         Chapter 1
What is pseudoscience? (pseudo means false)

How are archaeological sites protected under federal law/

                                            Chapter 3
Thomas Jefferson attempted one of the first archaeological excavations that paid attention to
stratigraphy. What did he find out?

What is Cahokia? Where is it and how does it related to the Moundbuilder Debate we reviewed in

                                         Chapter 4
What is experimental archaeology? Can our stone tool making exercise in class be described as
experimental archaeology?

Who were the Jomon of Japan? How did they make their living?

What is a hierarchical society (or societies with ranks and classes)?

What is a complex society?

How are the goals of ethnoarchaeology related to the goals of experimental archaeology
(described in the beginning and end of the chapter)?

Chapter 6
How are archaeological sites found in the first place? Describe what archaeological survey is and
how you might actually do it.

What are the differences between test pits, vertical excavations, and horizontal excavations?

Chapter 7
Describe the different ways that archaeologists classify evidence? (For example, our seriation
exercise was basically an exercise in classifying pottery styles)

Do not worry about any of the statistical stuff at the end of the chapter.

Chapter 8
Be able to pick your favorite absolute dating method from this chapter and describe to me how it
works (assuming that I was hyper critical of that method’s ability to provide a calendar date).

Be able to describe the types of material that Radiocarbon (c14) dating needs to date? Can you
use rocks or dirt? Why or why not?

Chapter 9
Describe what geomorphology is.

Be able to describe what stratigraphy is.

The stratigraphy exercise at the end of the chapter (p267) might look eerily similar to the one you
will encounter in the exam (although you will not be expected to do a Harris Matrix). Use it to

Chapter 10
Describe the evidence created by different steps in the stone tool production process (or the
Chaîne Opératoire). Pay particular attention to cores, flakes and what cortex is (think back to our
stone tool making exercise we did in class).

Do not worry about the particular features of stone artifacts (like Hertzian cones or bulbar

Describe the difference between percussion and pressure flaking.

What sorts of microwear patterns do different activities leave on stone tools?

If you haven’t already, practice the exercise at the end of the chapter (p293-294). It will look
eerily similar to another exercise you will need to do on the midterm.


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