Principles of Archaeology / Edition 1

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More About This Textbook


This new text offers an engaging, straightforward, and profusely illustrated introduction to archaeological method and theory. It captures the excitement and complexity of the field by focusing on three important themes, including how archaeologists think and learn about the past, ethics and the preservation of the past, and the role of science in archaeology. Each chapter offers an enticing mix of clear and thorough discussion of essential topics, provocative case studies, and practical applications that allow students to think like archaeologists.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780073271323
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies,Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/27/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 608
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction

Chapter 1. An Introduction to Archaeology
Introduction: What Is Archaeology?
Archaeology Is. . .
Archaeology Is Not . . .

Example: The Piltdown Man

Example: Erich von Däniken
Evaluating Science and and Pseudoscience
The Scientific Method
Evolution and Creationism
Why Study Archaeology?
Careers in Archaeology

Survey Says …

A Day in the Life …

University Professor: Tina Thurston

State Archaeologist: Maureen Kavanagh

Museum Curator: Anne Underhill

Chapter 2. Doing Archaeology
Introduction: The Lords of the Moche
Peru and the Moche

Science in Archaeology: The Center for Materials Research in Archaeology & Ethnology

Protecting the Past: Tourism and a New Museum in Lambayeque

Chapter 3. A Brief History of Archaeology
Introduction: The History of Prehistory

Example: Jefferson at Rivanna River

Example: Woolley at Ur

Protecting the Past: The Ancient City of Ur
1950 – 2000

Example: FAI 270

Archaeological Thinking: House Size and Population
Today: The Future of the Past

Part II. Discovery

Chapter 4. Archaeological Questions
Introduction: The Subject Matter of Archaeology
What Do Archaeologists Want to Know?



Example: The Black Earth Site



Example: Jomon Japan



Archaeological Thinking: Ritual in Ancient Oaxaca

Example: Settlement Population and Floor Area

Example: Harrapan Beads
Experimental Archaeology

Chapter 5. The Archaeologoical Record
Introduction: Information from the Past

Archaeological Thinking: The First Americans
The Nature of Evidence




Features and Activity Areas

Example: The Tomb of Qin Shihuang

Assemblages and Components


Example: South African Rock Art

Science in Archaeology: Dating the Paintings

Regions and Landscapes

Example: A Landscape of Mounds
Spatial Archaeology

Within Site Spatial Analysis: Activity Areas and Features

Example: Activity Areas at Teotihuacán, Mexico

Protecting the Past: The City of the Gods

Within Site Spatial Analysis: Houses and Households

Example: Household Archaeology at Agayadan Village, Alaska

Site Analysis

Regional Spatial Analysis

Site Formation

Example: Windover Pond, Florida

Example: The Iceman

Protecting the Past: Ötzi’s New Home

Chapter 6. Fieldwork
Introduction: Finding the Past
The Discovery of Archaeological Sites

Archaeological Survey

Archaeological Thinking: Reese River Valley

Archaeological Excavation

Selecting Sites for Excavation

Test Pits

Vertical Excavation

Horizontal or Area Excavations

Screening and Flotation

Example: Great Hall at Lejre

Underwater Archaeology
The Tools of Fieldwork

Maps and Grids

Contour Maps

The Total Station

Science in Archaeology: Global Positioning Systems (GPS)

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Soil Sampling

Remote Sensing

Remote Sensing from Above

Example: Chaco Roads

Remote Sensing On the Ground

Science in Archaeology: Georadar at Petra
In the Field

The Project Director

The Field Crew

The Field Experience

Example: Life in the Field

Fieldwork Opportunities

Project: Discovering Sites

Part III. Analysis

Chapter 7. Classification and Data
Introduction: Sorting, Types, and Numbers
Cleaning and Cataloging

Example: Lindow Man

Archaeological Thinking: Iroquois Pottery

Classifying Artifacts

Raw Material


Function and Style

Temporal and Geographic Variation

Archaeological Thinking: Styles of Gravestones

Archaeological Thinking: Seriation


Basic Statistics

Mean, Median, and Mode

Range, Variance, Standard Deviation

Normal Curve

Chi-Square and Contingency Tables

Visual Display of Information

Stem and Leaf Plots

Bar Graphs and Histograms

Box and Whisker Plots

Pie Charts

Project: A Room in the Pueblo

Chapter 8. Dating
Introduction: Frameworks for Measuring Time
Relative Dating Methods

Example: Pipestems
Reckoning Time
Absolute Dating Methods


Example: Pueblo Bonito

Example: French Neolithic Lake Dwellings

Radiocarbon Dating

Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (AMS) Dating

Example: Shroud of Turin

Science in Archaeology: Early Agriculture


Radiopotassium Dating

Example: Laetoli: Our First Steps

Protecting the Past: The Laetoli Footprints

Thermoluminescence Dating
Project: Dating a Scythian Tomb

Chapter 9. Geoarchaeology
Introduction: Geology and Archaeology

Example: Geomorphology and Homer’s Troy

Archaeological Thinking: The Harris Matrix

Example: Keatley Creek

Science in Archaeology: The Petrographic Microscope

Science in Archaeology: The Chemistry of House Floors
Project: Roman Stratigraphy

Chapter 10: Lithics Analysis
Introduction: Stone Tools and Human Behavior
Fracture Mechanics and Raw Material
Making Stone Tools
Making Sense of Stone Tools


Chaîne Opératoire

Archaeological Thinking: Stone Tools & Hunter-Gatherers in Western Nevada


Archaeological Thinking: How Many Layers?

Microwear Analysis

Science in Archaeology: Stone Tools and Food

Example: The Careful Flintknapper
Project: Stone Tools and the American Bottom

Chapter 11. Ceramic Analysis
Intoduction: Prehistoric Pottery
Making Pottery

Preparing the Paste

Shaping the Vessel


Studying Pottery

Initial Sorting

Attributes of Form and Function

Science in Archaeology: What’s Cooking?

Attributes of Style

Archaeological Thinking: Iroquois Pottery

Provenience Studies

Ceramic Petrography

Example: Icehouse Bottom

Ceramic Composition

Science in Archaeology: Salado Polychrome
Project: Mean Ceramic Dating

Chapter 12. Archaeozoology
Introduction: Animals Remains and Archaeology
Identification and Counts

Example: Extinction Is Forever
Age and Sex

Archaeological Thinking: Animal Domestication In Southwest Asia

Example: Star Carr, England

Science in Archaeology: Seasonality In The Preneolithic

Example: Cut Marks And Early Humans

Example: Gold Rush Menus
Secondary Products
Worked Bones
Shells and Shellfish
Project: Site Seasonality

Chapter 13. Archaeobotany
Introduction: The Study of Archaeological Plants
Macrobotanical Remains


Sorting and Identification

Example: Incinerator Site

Protecting The Past: Sunwatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park

Origins of Agriculture

Archaeological Thinking: Domesticating Plants

Example: Abu Hureyra

Wood and Charcoal Identification

Science in Archaeology: The Scanning Electron Microscope

Example: Charcoal from Thera
Microbotanical Remains


Example: The Elm Decline
Project: The Origins of Agriculture

Chapter 14. Bioarchaeology
Introduction: The Skeletal Evidnece
Field Reporting
Preparation and Sorting

Example: Cannibalism
Sex, Age, and Stature

Archaeological Thinking: Maya Stature
Stress, Disease, and Trauma

Example: Abu Hureyra

Example: Raising the Dead: The Mary Rose

Protecting the Past: The Mary Rose Today
Genetic Information

Modern DNA

Ancient DNA

Science in Archaeology: Neanderthal Genealogy

Ancient DNA
Mortuary Analysis

Example: LBK Cemetery at Nitra

Example: Roy Mata

Example: Moundville

Protecting the Past: Moundville Archaeological Park
Project: Mortuary Analysis

Chapter 15. Archaeometry
Introduction: Archaeology in the Laboratory

Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA)

Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS)

X-ray Diffraction (XRD)

Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS)

Science in Archaeology: Laboratory for Archaeological Chemistry
Elemental Analyses

Example: Obsidian Sources and Trade in the Ancient Near East

Ceramic Analysis

Anthropogenic Sediments

Example: El Coyote
Isotopic Analyses

Bone Chemistry and Prehistoric Diet

Archaeological Thinking: Climate, Isotopes, and People

Human Provenience and Migration

Example: The First King of Copan
Organic Residues in Archaeology
Project: Bone Chemistry

Part IV. Interpretation

Chapter 16. Explanation in Archaeology
Introduction: Interpreting the Poast
Schools of Thought

Processual Archaeology

Example: A Crossroads Of Barrows

Archaeological Thinking: Mounds in Denmark

Example: The Collapse Of Maya Civilization

Archaeological Thinking: The End of the Maya

Post-Processual Archaeology

Example: The Rock Art Of Nämforsen, Sweden

Archaeological Thinking: Text on Stone

Evolution and Archaeology

Selectionist Archaeology

Example: Horses and Snowmobiles

Archaeological Thinking: Pots as Tools

Evolutionary Ecology

Example: The Emeryville Shellmound, California

Archaeological Thinking: Optimal Species

Gender Archaeology

Example: Aztec Women and State Economy

Archaeological Thinking: Gender and Government in Ancient Mexico
New Directions

Chapter 17. Responsibilities
Introduction: Archaeology Today
The Relevance of Archaeology

Example: Raised Fields of Tiwanaku
The Past Is Heritage

Example: UNESCO World Heritage

Protecting the Past: Abu Simbel

Example: The Archaeological Conservancy
Who Owns the Past?

Example: Kennewick Man
Ethics in Archaeology

Example: Donnan and Sipán

Example: The Ypres Battlefield
Teaching Archaeology

Example: Interest Groups in the Classroom
The Responsible Archaeologist
Project: Ethical Questions

Appendix 1: A Brief History of the Poast
Introduction: World Prehistory
Geological and Archaeological Time
Africa, Asia, and Europe

Deep Roots in Africa

Out of Africa


The Creative Explosion

The Origins of Agriculture

States and Empires
The Americas

The First Americans

Farming Villages

States and Empires
The Pacific
Historical Archaeology

Appendix 2: Common Measurement Conversions and Equivalents
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