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What Is Archaeology Studying Past Cultures
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systematic study of the past in this context.

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Slide 8

Types of archaeology

Types of archaeology

Classical-use of written sources, architecture and art.

Historical-recent historic times, may be text aided.

Underwater archaeologists-study waterlogged sites or artifacts with special techniques.

Prehistoric-cultures before written records.

New World vs. Old World

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Specialists

Specialists

Research on particular artifacts or ecofacts.

Zooarchaeologists-animal bones from archaeological sites.

Lithic analysts-stone tools.

Paleoethnobotanists-botanical remains, domestication.

Bioarchaeologists-human remains.

Ceramics

Metals

Architecture

Writing

Etc., etc.

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Slide 10

What is Culture?

What is Culture?

“That complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by a[person] as a member of society” Edward Tylor

Primary nonbiological means by which human societies adapt to and accomodate their environment.

Culture is a society’s traditional system of beliefs and behavior.

What is the difference between human culture and animal societies?

*i.e. when an animal dies, its experiences die with them. But what about primate societies?

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Slide 11

Cultural Systems

Cultural Systems

Cultural Systems

A complex system comprising a set of interacting variables, including:

tools

burial customs

subsistence

religion

social organization

These elements function to maintain a community

When one element changes, others are effected

How do we study Cultural Systems in Archaeology?

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Tools

Tools

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Slide 13

Burial Customs

Burial Customs

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Religion

Religion

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Social Organization

Social Organization

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Slide 16

Culture Process

Culture Process

Processes by which human societies changed in the past.

Culture change was generally slow and gradual.

Primary Processes:

Invention

Diffusion

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