Shared Flashcard Set


Arch Exam 1
W & O: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 and Trigger, Renfrew& Bahn, and Barton et al.
Undergraduate 3

Additional Archaeology Flashcards








“The science (or study) of man,” (42)







Study the evolution of, and the variations in the physical attributes of humans and primates.






Study of living or recent human societies.

  • Analyze lifeways
    • Ethnography




The scientific study of past human cultures through their materials and remains.






Deals with cultures that were NOT urban and did NOT have writing.


=Prior to a historical record






Deals with cultures that did have writing.






Focuses on the material remains-- art, history, literature-- of ancient Mediterranean world (Greece, Rome)






Concetrates on linking material remains with descriptions from the bible (Middle East).





The study of plant remains at sites

           - environment and food





The application of scientific techniques when analyzing archaeological material

     - dating and chemical composition remains





Study of animal remains from meals, tools, and environment

    -domestication and animal husbandry





The examination of human remains

    -if possible, determines the age, sex, health, etc.





Study the geological setting and formation of sites

    - sediment formation process





Study of ancient humans as found in fossilized remains



Theoretical Anthropology


Focus on models and theories to explain human behavior






Submerged remains


   -submerged coastlines






Study the manufacturing and use of stone tools






Study of pottery






·      Edward Tylor- “Knowledge, beliefs, morals, law, custom, other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society”

o   Structural components of society (law, religion, etc)

·      Franz Boas- “Social habits of community, reactions of individuals as affected by habits of the group—product of human activities”

o   Contextual not evolutionary  (social)

·      Clifford Geertz- “Denotes an historically transmitted pattern of meanings embodied in symbols of system of inherited conceptions expressed in symbolic forms—communicate, perpetuate, and develop knowledge”

o   Meaning and mental aspects of culture (learned behavior)


·      Lewis R. Binford- “Man’s extrasomatic (added + body) means of adaptation”

o   Functional aspects as adaptive system (cannot say meaning or ideology of anything)






Analysis of something at a given, fixed point in time.

- Does NOT look at the progression of events that contributed to current event

= Looks at the structure and function as they relate to state at a specific time





Analyzes he evolution of things over time

- Allows for assessment of change throughout history

= Effects of variable change on something to postulate why this certain state exists



Unilineal Evolution


All societies evolve in one direction from a stage of savegry to one of civilization.


Lewis Henry Morgan- 3 universal stages of cultural development

       - Savegry: forage for wild plants, not a lot of tools

       - Barbarism: meat eating and violent

       - Civilization: mental life, agriculture, domestication, writing

                           and can eat the products of labor

Herbert Spencer- concept of "natural selection to human societies"

       - All biological species tend to reproduce faster than the

         increase of food supply

                + More "primitive" societies lost out in struggle for

                   survival to more "advanced" cultures

       = Natural selection will lead to the perfect society. History IS


=Archaeological record often viewed in terms of how Western humans evolved from the first culture-bearing peoples. Assume that development is natural and inevitable product of prehistoric peoples who, like westerners, had to be constantly looking for a way to improve standard of living and did so with tech.






Not all societies pass through predetermines stages of evolutionary development-- there are varying paths of evolutionary change for different societies

Leslie White- culture is evolving according to rules inherent only to itself. Go towards the direction of greater complexity and ability harness and direct greater amounts of energy

   - Technological advances more efficient lifeway

          + technology- ways of travel, buildings, use of land

   - Different cultures adapt differently in the same environment

Julian Steward- ecological aspects of human adaptation

   - Different cultures do have similar features in their evolution and

     these features could be explained as parallel adaptation to similar

     natural environment

   - Moved away from unilineal evolution

          + culture as a system with a natural and human interface






Study of artifact in space and time context (where and when)

  - Shared attributes of artifacts linked to particular cultures

   - Change in style of artifacts through time can help date and


   - Studying the past must involve some sense of sequence, usually

     in the for of cultural change over time



“Main method of culture history is to make large collections of artifacts (stone tools, pots, and everything else made or deposited by people) from each site (their houses, graves, or workplaces) and the make a lot of brave inferences about the cultural relationships among the people who made these things. “ (10)

      -  Problems: assesing the actual significance of traits chosen

                  + traits (like colors and details) are not always significant







Asking questions that can be answered with archaeological materials

E.G. "What did they eat?" --> Analyze animal/plant remains

     - Systematic relationships between natural environments,

        organisms, community, and culture

             + Test the interface

     - Technology change impacts the lifeways

     - The cultural process is best understood as an adaptive mechanism



Processual Archaeology


After 1960s, major revival of archaeology as a "science"

     - Desire to use powerful explanations of "natural sciences"

Lewis Binford- "Man's extrasomatic means of adaptation"

     - Stressed importance of problem orientation and testing hypothesis

     - MOST ASSOCIATED with processual archaeology

= Sought to make archaeology and objective, empirical science in which hypothesis about all forms of cultural variability could be tested


    - The cultural process is best understood as an adaptive mechanism

= Goal for reformulating archaeology as a mathmatical, evolutionary, ecological science for analyzing extinct complex cultural systems



    - NOT applicable to cognitive processes of people

               = humans NOT automotrons

          + We don't always do thing that help in the long run and foster evolution

          + Human emotion does not fit-- we are irrational!

   - Loss of faith in the possibility of a "physics of history"







Attempts to summarize and capture the essence of the appraoch is doomed because there is no single approach, no unified perspective

    - Derived from post-modernist perspective


Ian Hodder: first described as an attempt to overcome perceived shortcomings in processual archaeology

   - Processual neglects the influences of culture

       + Concentration on norms rather than individuals

       + Rarely attempts to incorporate the ideas used by societies to

          structure how material culture fits into a society's world view

   = Archaeological interpretation is a hermeneutic circle-- a

      process of continual interpretation and reinterpretation

    - The seatch for an empirical sicence of artifacts is useless

      + A few scientific methods are helpful (e.g. radiocarbon dating),

         but archaeology will always be a humanistic enterprise and

         fundamentally interpretative excercise, NOT an

         observational one.  

Assumption that archaeology can be a neutral, value-free, empirical science of artifacts is wrong. 

= "History is what a living society does in the past," vs.

the processualists notion; "history iswhat happened in the past."


Bruce Trigger: four main tenants of post-processualism

    1. "No one sees the world objectively: what we perceive, and

         even more what we interpret what we perceive, is influenced

         by what we believe"

    2. Assumption that "sensory data or observational evidence is

        rarely capable of refuting strongly held beliefs"

    3. "'holism' -- the idea that in order to understand any part of a

         system or an issue we must first understand the whole."

    4. "Science is a social activity. This implies that science is only one

         source of knowledge among many, including common sense,

         religious beliefs, and perhaps even delusions."

=We create the past and our interpretations of the past are limited by, and arise out of, our own cultural context

    - An archaeologist's interpretations of the past is a function of

      their own sociocultural context (their own lives and personalities

     determine how they interpret artifacts)

    - Archaeology is profoundly political

       + If there are many 'true' readings of archaeology then

          nonarchaeologists have as much a right as archaeologists to


E.G. Ian Hodder and the goddess statues-- interns have goddess tourguide duty





Non-artifactual organic and environmental remains that shed light on past human activities

    E.G. Pollen remains, animal bones, spilliothem





Modification to a site that is NOT portable

    - Features usually reflect specific, sometime repeated, activities

      + E.G. quarries and latrines






Relatively dense concentration of artifacts and features

    - Any evidence of past human activity

    - All artifacts and features not always found at sites

      + Artifacts and features litter the world, NOT sites







A portable object used, modified, placed, or made by people


    - E.G. baskets, tools, pottery, etc.

    - Classify items on the basis of the material they are made out of


       + Largest part of the archaeological record is made up of stone

           tools and pottery fragments (shreds)






Stone tools

    - Classification based on form/function

       + Bifaces- flaked on two sides

           ~ Punch-struck or pressure-flaked

       + Microblade- small but still twice as long as it is wide

           ~ Projectile Points- hafted (attached) to a projectiles, such

               as a spear, dart, or arrow, or perhaps used as a knife

    - Classification based on context

       +decorative pieces: ritual pieces, burials, etc.

    - Classification by manufacturing technique






Pieces of stones used to remove flakes or blades from

    -Byproduct of tool making, often produced when hit by a pebble,

     antler, or bone hammer






Striking flakes or blades from a large stone (core) and the shapping of cores and flakes into tools

    - Hard hammer percussion

    - Struck off with pressure

      + Pressure flaking

= Can be done with pebble, antler, or stone hammer





First made by hand and dried in the sun or low-temp kilns; then profressed to wheel and high-temp kilns in many areas of the Old World

    - "Ceramics form such a large part of archaeologists' lives because

       ceramics express so much about the people who made them"

      + Pots are a direct indicator of funciton

          ~ Show how diets and economies change over time

    - Almost always analyzed on basis of style

      + Stylistic attributes (decorative characteristics)

        ~ Style tends to change in gradual ways

        ~ Thematic analysis of stylistic elements can aid interpretations

             :may need multiple pieces to understand

= Societies throughout history have invested their objects with styles

   that have profound and complex meanings and effects

    - "...enter cognitive world of ancients..." (60)

    - Styles fix social meaning and are powerful ways in which groups

       define and construct culture

      + Identify gender, age, group, ethnic group, socioeconomic

         class, etc






Cave formations (stalagmites/stalagtites) often separate from caves in piles

   -Carried from original site for some reason






Form of relative dating, where artifacts from numerous sites-- but in the same culture-- are placed in chronological order

    - No excavation needed, only surface collection can group artifacts

      into 4 or 5 major periods

E.G. generations of archaeologists have surveyed the area around Mexico City, identifying thousands of settlements dating back from 12,000yo up to the Spanish Conquest. Most sites are small mounts whose surfaces were littered with pottery shreds and obsidian tools

+ differences in style between Late Aztec Black-on-Orange dish (a.d. 900) and Middle Formative plainware jar (550BC) are so obvious that anyone can learn to date these sites in a few days

   - Caron-14 dating can be used to provide a few absolute dates to

     anchor sequence, but most can be ordered with help of

     stratigraphy and pottery styles alone

   - Most styles grow in popularity and then slowly die out

     + Creates battleship curve of that shows distribution of the

         object through time






Proportional abundance of trait based on the idea that style goes through a predictable series of events

Incipience -->   Flourescene  --> Decline

one person    highest frequency            






How stylistic attributes change with time

    - Tie changes to dates

    - Morphological types have predictable changes through time










Circumstances or events that form environment in which something exists or takes place

   - Relationship of specific artifacts and features to each other and to

     other types of data (like plant remains and animal bones)

   - Spatial data provides valuable additional information about the

     organization of activities at a site

MOST important information

= interpretation of the archaeological context tells us about the cultural context-- need all three (provinence, association and matrix) to make accurate interpretations

    - If the provenience, association and matrix are lost, the majority

      of information about the artifact is lost






The original, undisturbed location of remains

    - Often the result of a deliberate activity such as the construction

      of a structure or the placement of the dead in a burial






Removed, disturbed, or redistributed remains.

    - The disturbance event can take place in antiquity, the historic

       past, or the present

       + E.G. Natural when flooding occurs in caves





The precise location of the archaeological data in space

    - Region, site, sector, unit, feature, artifact





What other archaeological data was found in the close proximity





The material surrounding the item

   - Gravel, sand, water







The unsanctioned, nonscientific and destruction of sites that prevents archaeologists from ever knowing the context of some materials

    - Illegal antiquities from around the world are openly on sale

    - Primary looters are impoverished peasants trying to make a living

= Destroys context of artifacts and features






Study of the formation of layers-- both geological and cultural

    - different layers of debris removed in the reverse order in which

       they were deposited

= Law of superposition: sedimentary layers are deposited in a time sequence, the oldest on the bottom and the youngest on the top (a profile view)

    - Requre that the analyst reconstruct different processes that

      produce the sequence of deposits

= Stratigraphic analyses are a fundamental part of field archaeology because they provide the primary data for looking at change over time in all aspects of cultures

    - Geological disasters (earthquakes/mudslides) and animal/human

       digging can interrupt stratigraphy

E.G. Neandertals came to the Tabun Cave in Palestine every year for a few months and built fires, made tools, butchered animals, etc. adding to the layer of debris each year. Excavators can now tease apart layers of debris to see history of change in their culture




Cultural Formation



The deliberate or accidental activities of human beings as they make or use objects, build or abandom buildings

    - A process: reuse, discard, disturbance, recover

E.G. The process of making and using stone tools

   1. Acquisition of raw materials

   2. Manufacture the tool

   3. Use tool

   4. Discard when broken or no longer necessary




Natural Formation




Natural events that govern both burial and survival of the archaeological record (preservation)

    - Agents that impact cultural materials at any stage of their


= There may be no correlation between the distribution of artifacts at a site and human behavior

E.G. Flooding







The result of both natural events and cultural activities

    - The prinicple of Thermodynamics, matter is never destroyed nor

      lost in the universe

      + Best preservation of organic remains (which degrade the

         quickest!) where there is not enough water, heat, pH balance,

         or oxygen for the chemistry of decay to occur

E.G. Dry caves, under thick layers of volcanic ash, peat bogs, permafrost, or deep, dark, cold water

= The preservaion of organics is almost an accident

    - The greatest destruction is caused by people

       + Renovation of ancient monuments/successive settlements

           e.g. In NY, Rome, etc, nearly every construction project disturbs the

                  archaeological record of earlier times








Identificatin of prominent archaeological remains in a landscape (quick and dirty)

    - Working up to the excavation

    - Usually done in the context of a specific intellectual question or


= Hypothesis formation: goal is to develop some novel ideas or ways of looking at a problem that lead to looking for certain kinds of data

   - Survey evidence helps provide justification for excavation


   - Walk around; look for features in a landscape such as remnants

      of walls structures or burial mounds

   - Aerial or satellite photos

     + Provides wide area perspective

       e.g. canals, large fortifications, field systems, art

     + Won't work in landscapes with a high density of plant life


   - Maps: topography

   - Location of other sites in relation

   - Ask people who live in the area!








A type of ground survey where the location of artifacts on the surface is recorded

    - Helps acquire money for excavation

      + Justifies the purpose for digging

      + Marks good places to start excavation

Settlement survey- systematic coverage of a site to produce a complete map of all features








High tech methods of un-intrusive survey, particularly useful for remains that are not visible on the surface

   - Aerial photographs

     + Won't work on landscapes with high density of plant life


   - Satellite images

   - Ground-penetrating radar: sends signals that "bounce" off

     sub-surface anomalies such as structures, burials or other


    + Inexpensive, easy to use in the field, capable of digitally storing


      ~ Does NOT penetrate all substances (no, no on limestone)

      ~ Good where slah and burn occurs

= Archaeological sites can be mapped, recorded or excavated

   - Depends on project's resources and objectives







1. Make a map of site so objects and features can be given precise 3D coordinates, the provenience

2. Site gridded into blocks (e.g. 5x5) and a sample of these blocks is selected for excavation

3. Diggin is done with dental tools, paint brushes, trowels, shovels, bulldozers, or dynamite (depending on objects and context)


= Objective is to obtain a chronometric date: age expressed in years






Peel by layers which correspinds to time period

   - Emphasis on exposing and recording plan view

   - Bird's eye view of an entire cultural layer

= Synchronic research strategy- in-depth study of a specific time period







Excavating downward, slice through multiple layers

   - Emphasis on exposing and recording profile view

   - Cross sectional

   - Able to locate a specific time period

     + Use relative dating like pottery seriation to determine time of

        horizontal layer

=Diachronic research strategy: change over time








Comparative way of saying an object is older or younger than another

    - Three-Age System: Christain Thomsen & J. Worsae first to

      clearly state and develop 


Stone --> Bronze --> Iron

    - Stratigraphy: organization by layers

    - Seriation: how stylistic attributes change with time

    - Deep Sea Cores: oxygen isotopes

    - Palynology: study of pollen to construct the Paleoclimate







Absolute age in years, numerical value

    - Radio-carbon dating: Carbon-14 dating

    - Potassium-argon dating: radioactive isotope of Potassium

      present in minute quantities of rocks and volcanic ash, decays

      into gas Argon at a known rate

    - Paleomagnetic dating: based on how the north and south


      have "reversed" their magnetism over the years

    - Luminescenes dating: commonly occuring crystalline minerals

      (quartz and felspar) "soak up" radioactivity from the naturally

      occuring radioactive elements in the sediments 

    - Dendochronology: use of sequence of tree rings to infer time


= Our absolute techniques can date to a veeery broad range:

100,000 ya --> 4-5 billlion ya

= Gap between 50,000-100,000 yrs...when human evolution began






Solar radiation strikes the atomosphere and coverts a small amount of atmospheric nitrogen into a radioactive isotope 14C

    - When organism dies, the 14C trapped in its cells begin to revert

       to nitrogen because 14C is unstable

=Half life for 14C is 5,730ish years

    - Estimate the time an organism has been dead by measuring the amoung of 14C against the stable isotopes 12C and 13C remaining in its cells

= After 50,000 yrs not enough 14C left to be measurable on standard laboratory equipment, although large samples and the most powerful equiment can date up to 100,000 yrs

    - Works best on wood and charcoal, but paper, leather, bone, skin,

      peat, and many other organics can be dated with this method

    - Poor sampling procedures can contaminate samples with 14C

E.G. Site of Cuello in Belize—charcoal bits found from two different areas combined together before dating. Ended up showing that charcoal was 1,000 yrs older than it really existed. They also did not refill the excavation site and now a Rum company uses it for a dump

    - Contaminiation from ground water or breathing/touching it

      (adds 14C)

E.G. Old Crow River in Yukon, Alaska—controversial evidence for early human occupation. In 1966 a caribou bone fleshing tool was found and dating set it to 26,950 BP +/- 3000 (very, very early). 1986 bone collagen AMS dated to 1350 +/- 150.

   - There is a "correction curve" with 14C because the amount in

      the atmosphere hasn't been constant over the past 50,000 yrs

      + Use dendrochronology to measure amount of 14C in trees

   - Amount of 14C is not the same for all environments

     + North v. South hemisphere


=Recent advance in radiocarbon dating with the use of particle accelerators (AMS or accelerator mass spectrometry)

   - Samples the size of a match-head can now be tested

   - Samples more easily purified on contaminants

E.G. In Feb. 1989 an international team of 21 scientists took 3 50mg samples of the Shroud of Turin, a flax cloth that appears to bear the image of a man who has been whipped and crucified and has been thought to be used to wrap the body of Jesus Christ. Samples sent to 3 different labs around the world which independently concluded that the flax used to weave the Shroud was grown well after the death of Christ (13th/14th c). NOT PATCHED.

=Dates that agree with one's supisitions are welcome, while dates that don't agree are intrusive









Radioactive isotope of potassium (40K) present in minute quantities in rocks and volcanic ash. Decays into gas Argon (40Ar) at a known rate

    - Half-life is 1.3 billion yrs

    - Because 40Ar is a gas, it escapes when rock is molten (lava) but

      is trapped when the rock cools

       + Measure to the time rock cooled and solidified

   - Extremely old half-life can help date materials many millions of

     yrs old





The time is takes for a substance undergoing decay to decrease by half




Parent/Daughter Material


Parent material degrades into daughter material

    - Age is determined by looking at the amoung of daughter material

      compared to parent material






Based on how the north and south poles have "reversed" their magnetism many times

    - Today the north pole is positive and the south pole is negative

= Reversed between 700,000 and 1.6 million ya

   - Magnetic rocks preserce a record of these changes in polarity

      + Two layers of magnetic rocks can be roughly dated







Commonly occuring crystalline minerals (quartz and felspar) "soak up," radioactivity from the naturally occuring radioactive elements in the matrix in which they were found

   - They record how long they have been exposed to these

     radioactive elements

      + Heat to high temperature or bleaching by sunlight causes the

         exposure of natural radiation to erase, setting radiological

         "clocks" to zero

          ~ Materials cool or are removed from sunlight through burial,

              minerals start to record contact again

   - Dark laboratories can cause accumulated energy to be released

     as light and measured with a device called a photomultiplier

= Date to the last heating or burial of a crystal

= Age determinants from 0 to 1 million ya are possible





Use of sequence of tree rings to infer time

    - Most trees add a single ring each year to their circumference

number of rings = age of tree

      + Grow faster in wet years, so a unique series of changes in ring

         widths occur

Take cross sections of trees and match up the unique ring patterns to overlap back into time

    - Able to compare beams, posts, and other artifacts to cross

      sections taken from old trees in the same primary context

      + Can determine exact year in which tree was used to make the


    - Problems: Dry climates use lumber over and over because it's a

      rare resource

      + Date the tree was cut may be centuries earlier than it was

         used for a beam in a house

      + Location tree was cut may be miles and miles away from the

         context of the artifact

=Limitations when woord is reused

House --> Canoe --> Paddle

:date that tree was cut to build house, not the other events

E.G. Chronologies established to

8,600 yrs- American Southwest (Pine)

11,800 yrs- Northwest Europe (Oak and Pine)




Lifeway (?)



Nomadic, between 13,000-7,000 BC

    - Very little archaeological evidence of these early nomadic hunter-gatherers

      + Big arrows, popular channgel flake for spearfit

= Trademark items are Clovis and Folsom spearheads







Folsom, New Mexico: JD Figgins found a long, "fluted" (two long strips removed near the base and parallel to the length of the point) projectile point  in 1926

    - Embedded in the robs of a species of bison that had been extinct

      for about 10,000 yrs

= Folsom points prove that people were on the continents the same time as megafauna at the end of Pleistocene ca 10,000 ya



Clovis Culture


Clovis, New Mexico: Large blade tools discovered in association with extinct animals

    - Somewhat different from those at Folsom

      + Found in a layer undearneath some Folsom points

   - Earliest Clovis style artifact dated to 11,000 ya

   - Soon everyone was finding them across N. and S. America

= Clear stratigraphic evidence that there was a culture older than Folsom


a. Clovis

b. Folsom



Initial Peopling Ideas:

Mounds v. Pyramids


Similarities between the pyramids of Egypt and the U.S. Eastern mounds led to conclusion that Native Americans were the descendents of one of Noah's sons, Ham



Initial Peopling Ideas:

Lost Tribe


Native Americans the descendents of the "lost tribes of Israel," Jews that had been evicted from Palestine around 11,000 BC

a.    Incorporated into the doctrines of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, whose Book of Mormon concludes that Natives Americans came from Israel by ship hundred of years before Columbus




Initial Peopling Ideas:

Lost Cities


Native Americans the descendents of people who fled "Atlantis" or other lost cities that had been destroyed by volcanic eruption



Initial Peopling Ideas:



Spanish Jesuit, Jose de Acosta, the first to suggest that Native Americans were descendents from migrant Asians.

   - Noticed the close physical resemblance between Native

     Americans and Asians




Asians and

Native Americans


- Similarities: dark brown eyes; black, coarse, straight hari,

         and relatively widely spaced cheekbones

      - Differences: less pronounced epicanthic folds (part of the

         eyelid) and more prominent noses that east Asians


   - Impressive diversity of languages in the New World; none of

    which bore any obvious resemblance to Old World languages

=Although they might have descended from Asians they must have lived in America for a long time for such physical and linguistic divergence to occur

   - That people have lived in the New World for at least 11,000 yrs

      has been evident for a while









During period of glacial advance within the last million years, enormous quantities of water were converted to ice, lowering the sea level sufficiently to expose a 1,500- to 3,000- km wide expanse of floor of the Bering Sea

Land Bridge = Beringia

    - Most recently available from 25,000 to 14,000 ya

   - For decades majority of archaeologists...

Siberia --> Beringia --> Alaska --> "Ice-Free" Corridor through Canada


   - Ocean currents create an ice-free tundra-covered connection

     + Resources available for hunters- gatherer migrants dependent

        on season...meadows = attractive grazing habitat

        ~ Large Pleistocene herd herbivores like musk-oxen and

           mammoths, fish, birds, and sea mammals along the shore

     + Other periods of Beringia not rich -- possibility of dust storms

        because it was so dry and barren

   - Pollen cores from easternmost Beringia suggest first population

     of Americans from 30,000 to 14,000 ya

     + Southward migration from Alaska may have only been possible

        during a few intervals

        ~ For most of Pleistocene the way is though to be blocked by

            coalescing ice sheets

= Even if ice sheets didn't completely bar the way, not clear that "ice-free" corridor was habitable for people until after 11,000 ya

   - 11,000 ya is a relatively late date for peopling compated to the

     dates of some archaeological sites now know from areas south of

     the ice sheets

     + Cactus Hill, Virginia: 16,900 to 10,900 ya

     + Monte Verde, Chile: 12,500 ya


= The "Ice-Free" Corridor is still a viable option, but perhaps it is not the route that the earliest migrants took to arive in Americas

    - Likely that migrants took southern coast of Berinigia

      + Abundant resources like fish, eggs, bird, invertebrates, and

         many plant foods

     = Came this way it is unlikely that there will ever be

        archaeological proof because rising seas of the post-Pleistocene

        era have submerged ancient shoreline




from Beringia


People used watercrafts to "hop" along the coastline of what is now Canada perhaps as far as South America.

   - Main obstacles to accepting this route:

     + Lack of viable evidence since sites are submerged

     + Assumption that the glacial ice sheets extended completely to

        the sea along Canada coast allowing no possibility of landfall

   - Shift to acceptance...

     + Securly dated archaeological sites

         ~ Meadowcroft Rockshelter, Pennsylvania securely dates

            people in America before "ice-free" corridor is available

         ~ Cactus Hill, Virginia

         ~ Monte Verde, Chile

                 *No evidence for sites in the "ice-free" corridor area

                  thats dated before 11,000 ya

     + Paleoenvironmental research- context and conditions of

        "ice-free" corridor and continental shelf

         ~ From 30,000 to 11,500 ya large parts of the corridor were 


              *Even portions that might have been penetrated after

               18,000 ya could not support people

             = TOO FEW ANIMALS TO HUNT

=No one could have used this route as a form of entry from 30,000 to 11,500 ya

        ~ Combo of deep sea cores into Northwest coast continental

           shelf and digital sounding mapping have provided an

           emerging picture of coastline

       ~ Deep sea cores provide...

           * Pollen data allowing reconstruction of the vegetation when

              not submerged

           * Sediment information crucial to estimating timing for when

              land was submerged by the rising sea levels

=Submerged coastlines were characterized by open tundra, including grasses, sedges, and dwarf willows

    - Mapping of continental shelf shows evidence for lakes, rivers,

      and beaches

= Although glaciers would have extended all the way to the sea in some parts of coastline, other portions unglaciated from 23,000-19,000 ya

    - coastal refugia: unglaciated pockets scattered up and down

      northwestern coastline of the Americas

      + Suitable for landfall, if not also for more extended periods of

         human habitation

         ~ More economically feasible for early people compared to

            "ice-free" corridor

                * Attractive resources like shellfish, marine fish, seals and

                  other sea mammals

= Refugia available to humans at least 1,000- 2,000 years before "ice-free" corridor

    - Problem: lack of archaeological record

      + Drowning of ancient coastal areas at the end of teh




Crossing the Atlantic

from Europe


People traveling by skin boats crossed the northern Atlantic from Europe

    - Denis Stanford and Bruce Bradley's theory

      + Model is directed at explaining the origins of the Clovis

         tradition in the Americas

    - NOT necessarily the first migrants to arrive in the Americas

    - Permanent sea ice linked Ireland to Newfoundland during the

      period of maximum extent of the last glacial period


       + Presence of ice front theoretically created conditions that

          allowed a weak, warm sea current that flowed counter-

          clockwise in the right direction

          ~ Maritime adaptations in parts of western Europe allowed for

             crossing of 2,500 km along the ice front

         ~ Hunting of sea mammals and fishing to provide food and oil

            for heating and cooking

= Line of evidence used by Stanford and Bradley is the resemblance of Clovis stone artifacts in N. America to those of Upper Paleolithic tradition from Spain and France called the Solutrean

    - Stone flaked bifaces-- points or spearheads-- are very similar in

      appearance and in the technological processes used to

      manufacture them

      + Artifacts made of bone, antler, and ivory are similar in Clovis

         and Solutrean assemblages

    - Study of mtDNA shows presence of X haplogroup, a European

     genetic lineage, in some Native American populations

     + X haplogroup entered Americas via Solutrean peeps traveling

        the Atlantic

=NOT accepted as a feasible idea by most archaeologists

   - Chronology of Clovis and Solutrean

      + Solutrean sites in France and Spain fall into the interval

         between 21,000 and 17,000 ya while Clovis is dated between

         11,500 and 10,900 ya

         ~ Solutrean bifaces and well as techniques used to

            manufacture, are about 5,000 radiocarbon years older than

            supposed Clovis tradition counterpart

= NO Solutrean biface-making people in Europe at time that Clovis appeared in Americas

       + At height of last glacial period, which is when S & B propose

          that people crosses the Atlantic, there is NO evidence of

          human occupation north of Paris

        + NO proof that Solutreans had the adaptations for deep-water

           fishing or hunting of sea mammals

= Independent invention could account for similarities between the points

    - Making stone artifacts is a reductive process-- person making a

       stone tool can only fashion it by reducing it

      + Only so many ways this can be done!

    - Haplogroups explained by Beringia crossing as well



Meadowcroft Rockshelter,



Layers of alluvial sediments were deposited by tributary of the Ohio River. Interspersed in these alluvial sediments are many clear indications of human occupations including...

    - Prismatic flint blades

    - Basketry

    - Hearths

Millennia of reoccupation left a 16 foot "layercake" of tools, bones, baskets, and other debris.

    - Charred basketry from bootom was radiocarbon-dated to

      19,600 +/- 2,400 and 19,150 +/- 800

    - Charcoal from level beneath basketry dates to as old as 37,000


      + But no associated artifacts

    - Stone tools of Meadowcroft's earliest levels are similair to typical

      Clovis of 11,500 ya, but some blade sizes and types are different

= Suggestion that samples were contaminated by groundwater and that the site's stratigraphy has been misunderstood

    - Animal bones found also troubling; not expect these types this

      close to the glaciers that would have pushed far down into the

      northeastern US in the late Pliestocene

= If early dates of Meadowcroft accepted, it means peeps were in U.S. before last glacial advance and that the ice sheets weren't actually a barrier

    - Scarcity of sites dating this far back is due to inadequate

      searching, low population densisities, and the post-depositional

      destruction of sites

= Preservation makes finding more sites like this difficult

    - Mississippi area: alluviation has been so great that sites would

      be buried under tens of meters of soil

    - In South and East, where glacial ice sheets never extended, present land surface is millions of years old

      + Soft-drink bottles and ancient artifacts found in virtually same


         ~ Accumulation of soil over these areas has been so slow

= Cactus Hill, Virginia might corraborate dates...



Cactus Hill,



Cactus Hill, Virginia occupation is on a relict sand dune and include both Clovis period occupation and, underneath that, a pre-Clovis horizon names "Blade" because it yieled quartzite blades

    - Radiocarbon dates on natural wood particles from the lowest sand

      deposite show that sand dune was forming around 19,000 ya

    - Date of 16,900 ya was obtained from natural charcoal in sterile

      deposits immediately below the "Blade" occupation

    - Overlaying Clovis horizon is radiocarbon dated to 10,900 ya

= Age bracket for "Blade" occupation is between 10,900 and 16,900 ya



Monte Verde,



Tom Dillehay and his crew have excavated a camp site that has been radiocarbon dated to about 12,500 ya.

    - Site with the best claim to pre-12,000 ya is the farthest south

    - Below the levels of that age are layers of tools and debris that

      maybe much older, perhaps up to 33,000 ya

    - Not a covered site like others, but a cold, west, forested area

      that was covered by peat bog and was thereby extremely well


      + Mastodon flesh found intact, human footprints, log foundations

         for huts, animals skins, numerous plant remains

      + Almost all bones on site were mastodon (killed elseware and

         brought home in large segments)

      + Evidence of trade with presence of salt, bitumen, non-native

         plants, and other comododities

    - 30-50 people at one time with impressive degree of occupational

      specialization in wood-working, stone-tool manufacturing and

      other skills

    - Living almost sedentary communities

= If this far south by 12,500 ya people must have entered New World far earlier

= Evidence for extensive penetration of South America by 10,500 ya and perhaps as early as 11,500 ya



Linguistics of

New World


Native American languages have been screened for signs of common origin

    - Joseph Greenberg: New World languages reflect 3 periods of


       1. Amerind: 9000 BC

       2. Na-Dene: 7000 BC

       3. Eskimo-Aluet: 2000BC

=Each of these three language groups probably originated from separate Old World language families

=Nichols claims all New World languages came from Siberia over 20,000 ya

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