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4.3: Chapter Four Review

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    Test Your Knowledge

    1. Explain why you shouldn’t pick up an artifact you come across in nature.
    2. What are the differences between an artifact, an ecofact, and a feature?
    3. Give an example of a transformational process and a behavioral process.
    4. Explain the role turbation can have in moving an artifact from its in situ location. Give an example.

    Terms You Should Know

    archaeological record The material remains of past human activity, which includes sites, artifacts, food remains, and refuse, which form the database with which to study the human past.

    artifacts Portable objects made, used, or modified by humans.

    assemblage All the artifacts and data collected from an archaeological site.

    association The relationship and position of an archaeological find to other artifacts and features that are in the same archaeological level at the site.

    behavioral process Human activities and behavior, including acquisition, manufacture, use, and deposition, that provide tangible archaeological remains. Sometimes referred to as cultural formation process.

    context The position of an archaeological find in relation to other finds on the site, including its associations, provenience, and matrix as well as what has happened to it since it was buried or placed on the ground.

    debitage The material produced as a product of lithic reduction in process of making stone tools.

    ecofact An object not modified by humans but brought to the site by past human activity, including both organic and inorganic materials.

    feature A non-portable human-made material remains such as a fire pit, hearth, storage pit, house, or structure that cannot be moved from the site.

    geoglyph A large drawing scraped into the ground or soil.

    habitation sites Sites where people lived for more than a few days or weeks with evidence of domestic activity, such as food preparation.

    in situ When an archaeological find is left in the original place that it was found.

    lithic scatter A scatter of stone artifacts and debris.

    matrix The natural materials such as sediments surrounding and enclosing the object in place

    manuport An object brought to the site by humans but not modified by them.

    natural shelter site A site that has natural protection from the elements such as caves and rock overhangs.

    open-air site A site that has no protection from the elements.

    petroglyph A drawing etched or carved into stone.

    pictograph A painting on stone.

    primary context The undisturbed position of a find after original deposition.

    processing sites Sites where humans prepared plants or animals for consumption, such as animal kill sites and butchering sites.

    provenience The location, horizontally and vertically, that the archaeological find was positioned on the site. Sometimes referred to as provenance.

    quarry A site where stones were harvested for tools and building.

    rock shelter A shallow rock overhang or cliff. A type of natural shelter site.

    secondary context The position of an archaeological find that has been partially or wholly disturbed after its original deposition by human or natural activity.

    site A spacial cluster of archaeological evidence of human activity such as objects, features, and ecofacts.

    taphonomy The study of what happens to organic remains (plant and animal) and the process of fossilization.

    transformational process Conditions and events that affect archaeological data from the time of deposition to the time of recovery. Sometimes referred to natural formation process.

    turbation Mixing of soils or sediments.

    typology Classification of objects according to their physical characteristics such as shape, form, and use.

    4.3: Chapter Four Review is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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