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How can archaeologists study past ideas like ideological systems?
- Myths or supernatural phenomena or
- beliefs are not likely to be preserved
- directly, however rituals and symbols associated with the ideology can be observed and analogy would have only limited
What is a ritual?
stereotyped, repetitive behavioral sequence
How could you recognize a ritual in the archaeological record?
- The behavior occurs over and over,
- probably in the same place
- Generally accompanied by oral or
- written literature, set of sacred objects, sequence of
- taboos, feasts and/or sacrifices, and symbols
What are the two types of ritual?
Calendrical and Critical
Mississippian Religion has 3 Themes of iconography
World Renewal/Fertility, Ancestor Worship, Warfare, Cosmography
Is Mississippian a Tradition, Period, or a Phase?
Mississippian is a Period. It is a bounded chronological unit. A length of time distinguished by particular items of material culture, such as hose form, potter or subsistence
Two things that set Mississippian apart from the Woodland period are:
Hierarchical Social Organization, Ideology (Three themes)
What is cultural continuity through time?
What do we call cultural uniformity and ties across space for a length of time?
What do we call a cultural manifestation that is limited in space and the smallest amount of time we can distinguish?
What kind or artifact is also limited in space and time, and is linked to a limited social group?
What is a type?
A group of artifacts with a recurring set of attributes limited in space, time, and cultural association.
What is a component?
A time period at a site. It could be a period (Mississippian component) or a phase
A set of components from various sites in a region will make up a:
A stratum or set of strata presumed to be culturally homogenous is:
A multicomponent site is:
Diachronic, with remains from more than one time period
Study of spatial distribution of activities, from the arrangement inside a house to distribution of sites in a region.
- Activity Specific clusters of artifacts
- Identified by contest, artifact and feature association, types of trash & artifacts
Items that functioned together for a tast
Where might you find a tool kit?
In a cache, in a burial
Are activity areas and tool making always gender specific?
What size group is indicated by a tool kit or an activity area?
- Tool Kit - Individual
- Activity Area - Individual or small group
What is our best evidence for individual behavior?
- Burials - the bones can tell us about diet and activities (but not in great detail)
- Burials - location and grave goods (Status, activity that marks them)
At what level do we look at settlement pattern?
- We look at:
- within a house
- within a household
- within a viliage
- Within a region
What can we learn from settlement patterns?
- Behavior synchronously or diachronically
- How people interacted with the landscape and resources and each other
- Lear about the social system
What are the two extreme types of social systems?
- Egalitarian: Status by age, sex, marital status.
- No classes
- Leadership by achievement
- Hierarchical: Status by age, sex, marital status
- Vast majority of people are commoners, there are a few elites and one ruler
- Leadership is ascribed
How do you tell the social system?
- Do settlements look alike, similar locations and settings
- Do all houses look alike?
- Do you find similar sorts of trash?
Besides looking at settlement pattern, what other evidence can tell you about the social system?
What and when is the first period in the history of Archaeology in America?
Speculative Period, up to 1850
Name some characteristics of the Speculative Period
- No profession or professional, antiquarians
- No method, theory, or body of data
- Belief the world began 4004 BC
What laws concerning archaeology were passed during the Speculative Period?
What theoretical approaches did archaeologists take?
What is the name of the second period, and when does it begin/end?
Descriptive Period 1850 - 1914
List some Characteristics of the Descriptive period
- Beginning of profession
- Beginning of many schools, programs, journals, societies, and government agencies
- Emphasis on descriptive of artifacts
- Myth of the moundbuilders sparked a lot of interest (first Smithsonian publication)
What laws concerning archaeology were passed during the Descriptive period
- Antiquity Act 1906
- Protected sites on federal property
What theoretical approaches did archaeologists take during the descriptive period?
- Descriptive in nature, putting remains into space time grids using cultural areas
What is the name of the 3rd period?
Chronological Period 1914 - 1960
List some characteristic of the Chronological Period
- Emphasis on placing sites in time
- Development of numerous relative and absolute dating techniques
- Effectively the beginning of federal legislation affecting archaeological resources
- Huge amounts of data collected in Southeast through WPA, TVS River Basin survey in Missouri
- Beginning of multidisciplinary projects
What laws concerning archaeology were passed during the Chronological period?
- 1935 Historic Sites Act
- Designated National Historic Landmarks, first not restricted to federal lands
What theoretical approaches did archaeologists take?
What is the 4th and current period in American Archaeology?
Explanatory Period 1960 - Present
List characteristics of the Explanatory Period
- Two new theoretical approaches
- New specialties within archaeology
- Rise of CRM
- Man more archaeologists
- New relationships with Indian
What laws were passed during the Explanatory Period?
- 1950s - 1960s DOT authorizes 1.5% of budget
- 1966 National Historic Preservation Act
- Set up the national register of historic places that recognizes local, state, and national significance
- set up SHPOs office
- 1969 National Environmental Policy Agency
- If federal monies used in project, must first assess the impact to cultural resources
- 1979 Archaeological Resources Protection Act
- Strengthened the 1906 Antiquities Act
- 1990 NAGPRA
- Protects native american graves and grave goods
What Theoretical approaches do archaeologists take during the explanatory period?
What Agencies impact at the state of SC level?
- SCIAA - Office of the state archaeologist
- Maintains site files, oversees underwater sites
- Archives and History - Office of SHPO
- Oversees NRHP nominations, quality of contract reports, federal funding
- SC Heritage Trust Program
- Acquires sites
How are most American archaeologists employed today?
Do professional archaeologists have a professional code of ethics
Several, SAA, ROPA, AAA
- Who is qualified to work
- What is required in fieldwork
- What is required in lab work
- What is required in reports
- federal standards and SC guidelines
- Responsibility to the future, unthreatened sites should not be completely excavated.
- Curation of artifacts, notes, photographs, maps
- Work towards the preservation of archaeological sites