Anthropology: sedimentology and stratigraphy discussion questions

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Question Description

10 questions about anthropology. Answers are based on the readings.Readings will be uploaded by private chat.

Directions: Respond to the following questions with short answers, in paragraph format, 200-300 words, single-spaced. Quizzes are due before 11:59PM Friday March 8, 2019. Quizzes may be turned in electronically via the drop box link on Blackboard under “Information.”

Grading: Students will be graded ten points per answer, for a total of 100 points. Each response is qualitatively graded based on thoroughness of response, evidence presented, and clarity of answers. Citations are preferred if direct quotes are used, “Woodard said to use quotations and make inline citations” (Woodard 2019:77).

1) Using notes from the first weeks’ lectures, Week 2 reading from Kottak, or content from the NOVA film on Werowocomoco, provide a definition of an “excavation.” If the processes of an excavation destroy the site of interest, in what ways do archaeologists record their data for purposes of interpretation?

2) What is stratigraphy, or strata, and how do archaeologists use stratigraphy to understand the chronology or “relative dating” of a site’s deposits?

3) Define “absolute dating” and provide a descriptive example of one of these dating methods.

4) Using the readings from Week 3 & 4 (Townsend, Hall, Drooker, Langford), describe examples of Mississippian “prestige goods” or “status markers” uncovered by archaeologist at sites such as Cahokia, Etowah, and Spiro. Some of these goods are durable, but Drooker includes evidence for perishable items that are less often identified. Consider the differing types of materials and provide descriptive examples of the artifacts from the readings and lectures.

5) The articles and films of Week 5 discuss Powhatan’s Werowocomoco. Archaeologists were surprised to find two large ditch features at the site, which appear to form two “D” shape enclosures. What other evidence was located that supports the interpretation of the “D” shape and how have the researchers explained the meaning of this large feature?

6) During the NOVA film on Werowocomoco, archaeologists used dendrochronological evidence from the Nottoway-Blackwater drainage to determine that the region was experiencing a climate shift. What was going on the in the Chesapeake at the time of the Jamestown settlement and how did the researchers reach this conclusion?

7) Based on the reading from Straube (2006) Jamestown colonists brought certain types of weapons with them from England. What did the archaeology of James Fort tell us about the English weaponry and how it was used (or not used) in Virginia? Give specific examples.

8) Moore, Rodning, and Beck (2017) discuss the burned “Spanish” structures at Joara uncovered during archaeological investigations at the Berry site. According to the authors, analysis of the charred wood remains of the structures revealed a combination of Native and European construction characteristics. Describe the evidence presented by the researchers and their interpretation of the data.

9) In James Deetz’s important book In Small Things Forgotten, he describes the “pervasive” Chesapeake style of seventeenth-century architecture (1977:146). Much of what is known about this regional variation of English housing in Virginia comes only from archaeology. Give an overview of the architectural characteristics of this Chesapeake house form.

10) Maria Franklin (1997) notes that the enslaved members of the Rich Neck plantation consumed a wide variety of domestic and wild comestibles. The archaeology of the slave quarters revealed a “three-fold increase in the consumption of raccoon” (99) over the course of the site’s occupation. What interpretations does Franklin offer for this observable trend in the archaeological data? Not mutually exclusive, give several explanations provided by Franklin

Tutor Answer

TutorAR
School: Rice University

Hi, Find attached the paper for your review.Let me know if you need anything edited or changed.Looking forward to working with you again in future.Thank you.
Attached.

Running head: ANTHROPOLOGY

Anthropology Questions
Student’s Name
Professor’s Name
Course Title
Date

ANTHROPOLOGY

2

1) Using notes from the first weeks’ lectures, Week 2 reading from Kottak, or content from
the NOVA film on Werowocomoco, provide a definition of an “excavation.” If the
processes of an excavation destroy the site of interest, in what ways do archaeologists
record their data for purposes of interpretation?
By definition, an excavation dig is a site that is under investigation or study. It is the
exposure and the processing of archaeological remains. This process also entails recording the
same for future reference. The excavation process, to begin with, is naturally destructive. This is
because the surrounding soil and artifacts are interfered with and can never go back to their
original position. If by any chance the process of an excavation destroys the site of interest as is
always the expectation, archaeologists can use restoration, reconstruction, renovation and by
extension relocation before data is recorded for interpretation. Restoration entails returning the
artifacts to their original state without having to introduce a new object that would interfere with
the original one. Reconstruction has a similar definition to restoration only that this involves
introducing some new materials that would help return the artifact into its original state.
Recreation entails creating a similar artifact based on the available evidence of the existence of
the artifact in a particular area. Relocation involves physically moving the site to another
location. It is only relevant if the site would be too risky if left in that original location and hence
the need to move it to another location for preservation. These are the various strategies
archaeologists implement to enable them to record their data.
2) What is stratigraphy, or strata, and how do archaeologists use stratigraphy to
understand the chronology or “relative dating” of a site’s deposits?
Stratigraphy refers to the study of materials deposited in a certain location over a period
of time in such a manner that results in a different layer or strata being formed (Boggs, 2006).
This can be either natural or man-made processes. Basically, the lower layers are expected to be
older while the upper layers are those that are recently deposited. This is known as the principle
of superposition. Sometimes forces of nature such as erosion and flooding may alter the layers
formed. These materials may include rocks, different kinds of soils as well as organic materials.
This method helps archaeologists in the dating of objects as they are able to form a reference of
times in which these objects were in use. Different objects such as pottery found across many
excavation sites are compared to each other to establish trading patterns or some sort of cultural
exchange from ancient times. It is assumed that the different layers are sequential in nature that
is to mean that with each layer there is a time period associated with it. This method was used in
the past and it only sought to date objects by determining which one was older than the other,
hence the term relative dating.
3) Define “absolute dating” and provide a descriptive example of one of these dating
methods.

ANTHROPOLOGY

3

Absolute dating refers to the scientific process of determining how old an object is by use
of scientific methods and principles. With the advancement in technology over the recent years,
absolute dating is becoming the most widely used form of dating in archaeology due to the fact
that it is able to estimate the age of an object or remains of a living organism. Carbon dating is
one of the most widely used methods of absolute dating. It is used to date biological materials
such as the remains of plants or animals. Carbon exists in different forms and one such isotope is
carbon-14, which is a radioactive isotope o...

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