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ACHEULIAN  look up translate image
Later stages of Lower Paleolithic culture defined by their particularly fine handaxes.
AEOLIAN  look up translate image
Deposited by action of wind.
ANALYSIS  look up translate image
the process of studying and classifying artifacts, usuallynconducted in a laboratory after excavation has been completed.
ANTONINE WALL  look up translate image
Built during the early 140s AD. Northernmost Roman wall in Great Britain marked the edge of the territory of Hadrian's successor, Antonius Pius,
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE  look up translate image
a place where human activity occurred and material remains werendeposited.
ARCHAEOLOGY  look up translate image
"An attempt to understand why things happen; not meerly to describe what happened."
ARCHAEOLOGY / ARCHEOLOGY  look up translate image
the scientific study of past human cultures by analyzing thenmaterial remains (sites and artifacts) that people leftnbehind.
ARCHAEOMAGNETIC DATING  look up translate image
Dating method for fireplaces or burned earth. area using the earth's magnetic field, Heat aligns the iron inthe soul or brick to magnetic north at time of heating (but only if it is very hot).The pole has moves over time so comparing the alignment of the iron to current magnetic north North Pole allows us to work out a date.
ARTIFACT  look up translate image
any object made, modified, or used by people.
ASSEMBLAGE  look up translate image
artifacts that are found together and that presumably were usednat the same time or for similar or related tasks.
ATTIC  look up translate image
From the area around Athens (Attica).
ATTRIBUTE  look up translate image
a characteristic or property of an object, such as weight,nsize, or color.
AVEBURY  look up translate image
Built around 2,500 B.C. Massive Late Neolithic stone circle in Wiltshire, UK. Definitely worth a visit. For lots of information we recommend you read "Hengeworld" by Mike Pitts.
B.P.  look up translate image
years before present; as a convention, 1950 is the year fromnwhich B.P. dates are calculated.
BEAKER PEOPLE  look up translate image
from the Late Neolithic to Early Bronze age (4000-2000 BC), named after their pottery. Styles of pottery known as funnel-beaker, protruding-foot beaker, and bell beaker. Previously it was widely believed that there was an 'invasion' of beaker people into the British Isles. This model is being revised by some who argue that a change in funerary style is not strong enough evidence to prove a large population movement.
BLADE  look up translate image
A flake of flint or other material used for cuttting.
BORDER CAVE, SOUTH AFRICA  look up translate image
One of the earliest modern human sites on the planet, this rockshelter in the Lembombo Mountains was found by Louis Leakey(?) to contain Homo sapiens skeletons dated around 70,000 years old.
BULB OF PERCUSSION  look up translate image
When striking a lump of flint to break a flake from the core, a bulb is often produced by the compression forces involved. The existence of a precussion bulb is one of the first things to look for when determining wether a found stone has been worked by people.
CALLEVA ATREBATUM  look up translate image
see 'Silchester'
When an organism dies, the amount of Carbon14 within it begins to decay at a half life rate of 5730 years; Comparing the amount of C14 in a dead organism to current levels in the atmosphere, gives an estimate of when that organism died.
CERAMIC  look up translate image
pottery, fired clay.
CHERT  look up translate image
Rock similar to flint. It can be knapped but is mostly of lower quality. Chert is usually found in shades of white, pink, brown and grey. Lots of Chert found in the Lower Thames Valley, UK
CHRONOLOGY  look up translate image
an arrangement of events in the order in which theynoccurred.
CHRONOMETRIC DATING  look up translate image
Dating which provides an estimate of actual age.
CISTS  look up translate image
Boxed burials (eg: some of the Neolithic graves at El Garcel, Almeria, Spain) are refered to as Cists burials. The term simply comes from the german word 'Kiste' meaning a box or crate.
CLASSIFICATION  look up translate image
a systematic arrangement in groups or categories according toncriteria.
COMPONENT  look up translate image
A collection of artifacts from a site manufactured during a single phase of occupation.
CONTEXT  look up translate image
the relationship of artifacts and other cultural remains toneach other and the situation in which they are found.
CULTURE  look up translate image
a set of learned beliefs, values and behaviors--the way ofnlife--shared by the members of a society.
DEBITAGE  look up translate image
the by-products or waste materials left over from thenmanufacture of stone tools.
DENDROCHRONOLOGY  look up translate image
Dating method using tree rings. Annual weather conditions lead to different ammounts of tree growth every year and this is reflected in the depth of the tree rings.
DIAGNOSTIC ARTIFACT  look up translate image
an item that is indicative of a particular time period and/orncultural group.
EGYPT  look up translate image
Archaeology doesn't get any better.
EINKORN  look up translate image
An early cultivated wheat (see also Emmer)
EMMER  look up translate image
An early cultivated wheat (see also Einkorn)
EXCAVATION  look up translate image
the systematic digging and recording of an archaeologicalnsite.
EXPERIMENTAL ARCHAEOLOGY  look up translate image
scientific studies designed to discover processes that producednand/or modified artifacts and sites.
FEATURE  look up translate image
a type of material remain that cannot be removed from a sitensuch as roasting pits, fire hearths, house floors or postnmolds.
GGANTIJA TEMPLES  look up translate image
In the outskirts of Xagara village on the Island of Gozo (off Malta) there satnds a pair of five chambered ceremonial buildings retained within a single outer wall. Dated to 3000 bc the Ggantija temple complex is believed to be the oldest known man-made roofed structure still in existence.
GLASTONBURY LAKE VILLAGE  look up translate image
Beautifully preserved Iron Age occupation in the Somerset Levels, UK. Museum exhibition in Glastonbury town centre also worth a look.
GOZO  look up translate image
Small rocky mediterranian island off Malta, reknown for megalithic structures such as the Ggantija temples.
GRID  look up translate image
a network of uniformly spaced squares that divides a site intonunits; used to measure and record an object's position innspace.
GRIMS DITCH OR GRIMS DYKE  look up translate image
Grim is another name for the devil and deep ditches in the british landscape are often attriubuted to him.
HENGE  look up translate image
A monument comprising a circular ditch with an external bank which encloses a circle or number of circles of stones or wooden posts.
HOMINIDS  look up translate image
The group of humans and our close ancestors and related species. These include Neanderthals, Australopithicenes, and others. (Basically if the latin name starts with an "H" its a hominid).
IN SITU  look up translate image
in the original place.
INSULA  look up translate image
Roman equivalent of a City Block (PL. Insulae)
ISOTOPE ANALYSIS  look up translate image
Isotopic analysis of theratio of carbon13 to carbon14 in human remains can give a good understanding of how much fish was in a persons diet in the final five or so years before death. Not a pefect science, but a useful indicator.
JOMON PEOPLE  look up translate image
Named after a site in Japan (dated around 13000-2500 Before Present), the Jomon culture is currently credited with the invention of pottery, some 12,000 years ago. When Japanese archaeologists tell british archaeologists about the Jomon, the brits get very upset. While the Jomon were building houses and making pots, the mesolithic brits were eating mud and picking their noses.
KNAPPING  look up translate image
The process of shaping stone (commonly flint, chert or obsidian) to produce tools. Modern knappers have also been known to use the thick bases of Coca-Cola bottles! Knapping is carried out using stone, metal, wood and bone tools. There are lots of websites devoted entirely to the subject. Knapping is one of the most accessable examples of experimental archaeology that anyone can try.
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Archaeology terminology
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Created on 2011-05-15 05:27:08
Number of terms 90
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  • Glossary of Archaeology Terms
  • Glossary of Archaeology Terms
    Glossary of archaeological and historical ideas, terms and terminology.