Anthropology exam 1

  1. artifact
    Any object or item created or modified by human action.
  2. ecofact
    Any of the remains of plants, animals, sediments, or other unmodified materials that result from human activity.
  3. stratigraphy
    The study of strata, or layers of rock or soil
  4. superposition
    (in rock layers) Each layer of rock or soil is older than the layer above it and younger than the rock layer below it.
  5. relative dating
    Dating layers of rock and soil by using the different rocks and soil above and below
  6. site
    Anywhere where there is a spatial concentration of material evidence or artifacts
  7. interpretation
    Explaining or telling the meaning of something in understandable terms
  8. context
    The place where the artifact was located and its surroundings.
  9. archaeological resource
    Any material remains of past human life or activities which are archaeological interest
  10. Paleanthropology
    The branch of anthropology that combines archaeology and physical anthropology to study the biological and behavioral remains of the early hominins
  11. bipedalism
    The human method of locomotion, walking on two legs
  12. hominin
    A current term that refers to the human, chimp, and gorilla members of the primates, both fossil and modern forms
  13. cranial capacity
    Brain size measured in cubic centimeters (cc); brains get larger over time
  14. australopithecene
    The generic term for the various species of the genus Australopithecus, including A. ramidus, A. afarensis, and A. africanus.
  15. oldowan
    The name given to the assemblages of early pebble tools and flakes belonging to the Basal Paleo-lithic, derived from Olduvai.
  16. hard-hammer technique
    A percus-sion technique for making stone tools by striking one stone, or core, with another stone, or hammer.
  17. soft-hammer technique
    A flintknap-ping technique that involves the use of a hammer of bone, antler, or wood, rather than stone.
  18. archaeology
    The study of the human past, combining the themes of time and change.
  19. excavation
    The exposure and recording of buried materials from the past.
  20. mural art
    One of the two major categories of Paleolithic art, along with portable art. Mural art consists of painting, engraving, and sculpting on the walls of the caves, shelters, and cliffs of southwestern Europe; one of the hallmarks of the Upper Paleolithic.
  21. Paleolithic
    The first period of human prehistory, extending from the time of the first tools, more than 2.5 m. y. a., until the end of the Pleistocene, 10,000 years ago. Characterized by the use of flaked stone tools, it is also known as the Old Stone Age.
  22. Neolithic
    The period of time of early farmers with domesticated plants and animals, polished stone tools, permanent villages, and often pottery; the New Stone Age.
  23. acheulean handaxe
    Amajor archaeological culture of the Lower Paleolithic; named after the site of St. Acheul in France. A hallmark of the Acheulean is the handaxe.
  24. mousterian
    A term describing the stone tool assemblages of the Neanderthals during the Middle Paleolithic, named after the site of Le Moustier in France. See also Acheulean.
  25. levallois
    A technique for manufactur-ing large, thin flakes or points from a carefully prepared core; first used during the Lower Paleolithic and remaining common during the Middle Paleolithic. The method wasted flint and was generally not used in areas of scarce raw materials.
  26. red ochre
    An iron mineral that occurs in nature; used by prehistoric peoples in powdered form as a pigment for tanning animal skins; often found in burials from the late Paleolithic and Mesolithic.
  27. portable art
    One of the two major categories of Paleolithic art, along with mural art. Portable art includes all decorated materials that can be moved or carried; found throughout Europe and much of Eurasia.
  28. hunter-gatherer
    A hunter of large wild animals and gatherer of wild plants, seafood, and small animals, as opposed to farmers and food producers. Hunting and gathering characterized the human subsistence pattern before the domestication of plants and ani-mals and the spread of agriculture. Hunter- gatherers are also known as foragers.
  29. domestication
    The taming of wild plants and animals by humans. Plants are farmed and become dependent on humans for propagation; animals are herded and often become dependent on their human caretakers for food and protection.
  30. cultivation
    The human manipulation or fostering of a plant species ( often wild) to enhance or ensure production, involving such techniques as clearing fields, preparing soil, weeding, protecting plants from animals, and providing water to produce a crop.
  31. Population Pressure Hypothesis
    Lewis Binford’s theory that population in-crease in Southwest Asia upset the balance between people and food, forcing people to turn to agriculture as a way to produce more food.
  32. sedentism
    Living in permanent, year-round contexts, such as villages.
Card Set
Anthropology exam 1
class vocab