Social Archaeology - Flashcards

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Social Archaeology - Flashcards
2011-05-17 13:47:52

From Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice (4th edition), 2006, Renfrew and Bahn, Thames & Hudson
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  1. Polity
    A politically independent or autonomous social unit, whether simple or complex, which may in the case of a complex society (such as a state) comprise many lesser dependent components.

    (Chapter 5 p. 178)
  2. Segmentary societies
    Relatively small and autonomous groups, usually of agriculturalists, who regulate their own affairs; in some cases, they may join together with other comparable segmentary societies to form a larger ethnic unit.

    (Chapter 5 p. 179)
  3. Chiefdom
    A term used to describe a society that operates on the principle of ranking, i .e. differential social status. Different lineages are graded on a scale of prestige, calculated by how closely related one is to the chief. The chiefdom generally has a permanent ritual and ceremonial center, as well as being characterized by local specialization in crafts.

    (Chapter 5 p. 179)
  4. Early states
    Societies characterized by: the prominent role played by cities, a ruler with explicit authority to establish and enforce laws, a class hierarchy, a bureaucratic administration of officials.

    (Chapter 5 p. 179)
  5. Central Place Theory
    Theory that seeks to explain the spacing and function of the settlement landscape. The theory argues that under idealized conditions, central places of the same size and nature would be equidistant from each other, surrounded by secondary centers with their own smaller satellites.

    (Chapter 5 p. 184)
  6. Thiessen Polygons
    A formal method of describing settlement patterns based on territorial divisions centered on a single site.

    (Chapter 5 p. 184)
  7. Site Hierarchy
    In archaeological studies, the sites are usually listed in rank order by size (i.e. in a site hierarchy) and then displayed as a histogram. Histograms allow comparisons to be made between the site hierarchies of different regions, different periods, and different types of society.

    (Chapter 5 p. 184)
  8. XTENT Modeling
    A method of generating settlement hierarchy, that overcomes the limitations of both central place theory and Thiessen polygons ; it assigns territories to centers based on their scale, assuming that the size of each center is directly proportional to its area of influence. Hypothetical political maps may thus be constructed from survey data.

    (Chapter 5 p. 185)
  9. Oral traditions
    In non-literate societies, valuable information about the past, even the remote past, is often enshrined in oral tradition - poems or hymns or sayings handed on from generation to generation by word of mouth.

    (Chapter 5 p. 190)
  10. Ethnoarchaeology
    The study of contemporary cultures with a view to understanding the behavioral relationships which underlie the production of material culture.

    (Chapter 5 p. 190)
  11. Ethnicity
    The existence of ethnic groups, including tribal groups. Though these are difficult to recognize from the archaeological record, the study of language and linguistic boundaries shows that ethnic groups are often correlated with language areas.

    (Chapter 5 p. 193)
  12. Ethnos
    The ethnic group, defined as a firm aggregate of people, historically established on a given territory, possessing in common relatively stable peculiarities of language and culture, and also recognizing their unity and difference as expressed in a self-appointed name (ethnonym) (see ethnicity).

    (Chapter 5 p. 193)
  13. Achieved status
    Social standing and prestige reflecting the ability of an individual to acquire an established position in society as a result of individual accomplishments (cf. ascribed status).

    (Chapter 5 p. 199)
  14. Ascribed status
    Social standing or prestige which is the result of inheritance or hereditary factors (cf . achieved status).

    (Chapter 5 p. 199)
  15. Factor analysis
    A multivariate statistical technique which assesses the degree of variation between artifact types, and is based on a matrix of correlation coefficients which measure the relative association between any two variables.

    (Chapter 5 p. 201)
  16. Cluster analysis
    A multivariate statistical technique which assesses the similarities between units or assemblages, based on the occurrence or non-occurrence of specific artifact types or other components within them.

    (Chapter 5 p. 201)
  17. Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDSCAL)
    A multivariate statistical technique which aims to develop spatial structure from numerical data by estimating the differences and similarities between analytical units.

    (Chapter 5 p. 210)
  18. Ranked societies
    Societies in which there is unequal access to prestige and status e.g. chiefdoms and states.

    (Chapter 5 p. 213)
  19. Emulation
    One of the most frequent features accompanying competition, where customs, buildings, and artifacts in one society may be adopted by neighboring ones through a process of imitation which is often competitive in nature.

    (Chapter 5 p. 220)
  20. Habitus
    An informing ideology that is communicated and reproduced through a process of socialization or enculturation in which material culture plays an active role.

    (Chapter 5 p. 221)
  21. Haplotype
    A specific combination of alleles within a gene cluster.

    (Chapter 5 p. 229)
  22. Lineage
    A group claiming descent from a common ancestor.

    (Chapter 5 p. 228)
  23. Y-Chromosome
    Sex chromosome present in males; unlike other nuclear DNA , the DNA in the Y-chromosome is not formed by recombination but is passed on exclusively in the male line.

    (Chapter 5 p. 228)
  24. mtDNA
    • Mitochondrial DNA , present in the mitochondria - organelles in the cell engaged in energy production. MtDNA has a circular structure involving some 16,000 base pairs and is distinct from nuclear DNA ; mtDNA is not formed by recombination, but is passed on
    • exclusively in the female line.

    (Chapter 5 p. 228)
  25. Nuclear DNA
    DNA present ( within the chromosomes in the nucleus of the cell.

    (Chapter 5 p. 228)
  26. Polymorphism
    Simultaneous occurrence in a population or social group of two or more discontinuous forms.

    (Chapter 5 p. 229)