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Archaeology

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									Archaeology

 What is it?
First- Archaeologists DO
NOT:
 Study dinosaurs.
 Just look for pretty
  or valuable
  objects.
 Just pick up
  artifacts.
 Spend all of their
  time just digging.
 Buy, sell, or put a
  price on artifacts.
So what is archaeology?
 The systematic, scientific recovery,
 and analysis of artifacts in order to
 answer questions about past human
 culture and behavior.
In other words…
 Archaeology is the study of the past
 through the artifacts, and any other
 tangible objects left behind,
 intentionally or otherwise, by past
 generations.
Artifacts are the heart of
archaeology.
 Artifacts are
  remnants of the past.
 Objects that have
  been made or
  modified by humans.
 Range from buildings
  and cities, to clay
  pots and tools, to
  mummies and tombs.
Examples of Artifacts
History of Archaeology
 First known archaeological
  expedition: excavation of the temple
  of Shamath by Nabonidus, a
  Babylonian ruler from 556 to 539
  BC.
 Greeks and Romans excavated
  ancient burial grounds.
 During Middle Ages study of
  archaeology came to a halt.
 Study of the past revitalized
 during the Renaissance! (15      th

                Century)




 Investigations of Pompeii and
  Herculaneum.
 Rosetta Stone discovery by
  Napoleon’s army (Egypt).
 Study of Stone Henge.
Goals of Classical Archaeology
          Collector:
 Based in the Renaissance
 Conduct archaeology in order to acquire
 beautiful objects (sculpture, painting,
 gold, jewelry) in a large part because of
 the objects gives status
     • For oneself
     • For a museum
     Value is dependent upon the artifact’s beauty, rarity,
       and financial value.
    Goals of the Scholars:
 Desire to understand past societies
  through the study of their remains.
 Centered in universities, but also
  includes independent authors,
  publishers, and foundations.
 Increasing government involvement.
        First Heroes of
         Archaeology
             Goals:
 Seek to “prove” that some written
  record or legend of the past was
  actually true.
 Some of these wanted to prove that
  the Bible was true.
  The “New Archaeology”
 Viewed more as a science.
    •   Hypothesizing
    •   Careful use of evidence
    •   Mathematical analysis
    •   Scientific “proof”
    •   Real optimism that “truth” could be found.
Archaeologists study artifacts in order
   to answer questions about how
           humans lived.

   Did they have religion?
   What tools did they use?
   Did they have disease or sickness?
   What did they eat?
   When did they live?
   Did they have laws?
   Did they hunt or farm?
   Where did they live?
   Who took care of their children?
   Did they have writing?
   Did they have art?
    Types of Archaeology
 Prehistoric (before writing)
 Historical (document/writing
  assisted)
 Classical (Greek and Roman)
 Underwater (shipwrecks)
 Industrial
 Egyptologists, Mayanists,
  Assyriologists
    Other areas helpful to
        archaeology
 Anthropology
 Biology
 Geology
 Paleontology
 Zoology
 DNA testing (more recent)
Excavating
   Once the site has been
          chosen:
 Map out the area.
 Grid is formed dividing the surface
  into squares and labeling the
  coordinates.
 Measure, dig, sift, and brush away
  the dirt.
 Must be patient and careful!!!
Excavating
Dating Artifacts
          Stratigraphy
 Method of determining the age of
 artifacts by keeping track of the
 layers of soil in which they were
 found.

 Drawback: over time the layers can
 be disturbed or things from different
 ages can be buried together.
         Radiocarbon Dating
 A technique for measuring
  the age of organic remains
  based on the rate of decay of
  carbon 14. Because the ratio
  of carbon 12 to carbon 14
  present in all living
  organisms is the same, and
  because the decay rate of
  carbon 14 is constant, the
  length of time that has
  passed since an organism has
  died can be calculated by
  comparing the ratio of carbon
  12 to carbon 14 in its
  remains to the known ratio in
  living organisms. Also called
  carbon-14 dating.
Other dating methods
              Dendrochronology
              or tree-ring dating
              is the method of
              scientific dating
              based on the
              analysis of tree-
              ring growth
              patterns.
      So to wrap it up…
 Archaeology is simply the study of
 artifacts left behind to learn about
 people from the past.



                  OR
 People
and their

Garbage

								
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