Archaeology Wordsmith

Results for process:

(View exact match)

behavioral processes
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Human activities, including acquisition, manufacture, use, and deposition behavior, that produce tangible archaeological remains.
cire perdue
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: lost wax process
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A metalworking technique used to cast figurines and statues. A model of the object to be cast is made in wax, solid if the object is to be of solid metal, or made around a clay core if it is to be hollow. The wax model is covered with clay, and the whole is heated to allow the wax to melt and run off; this leaves a space into which molten metal is poured. After it has cooled the outside clay is knocked off, the inner core may be removed, and remaining is a metal version of the original wax model. The technique is common on every continent except Australia and dates from the 3rd millennium BC, having gone through few changes since then. Since the 'mold' cannot be used again, each version of an object made using this technique is unique, and the process is more time consuming than making a complex mold and re-using it. However, more detail can be accomplished with the cire perdue process.
cognitive-processual approach
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An alternative to the functional-processual approach, this theory is concerned with the cognitive and symbolic aspects of early societies and the role of ideology as an organizational force.
cultural disturbance process
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any human behavior that modifies artifacts in their archaeological context, e.g. digging canas, hearths, houses, etc.
cultural formation process
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The deliberate and accidental activities of humans that affect how archaeological materials are buried.
cultural processes
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Sets of interrelated changes occurring through time, operating very broadly in geographical, social, and temporal terms over the course of a culture's history.
cultural processual approach
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cultural process
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A deductive approach to archaeological research that is designed to study the changes and interactions in cultural systems and the processes by which human cultures change throughout time. A cultural process is the cumulative cause-and-effect of the mechanisms and interactions within a culture that produce stability and/or change. The delineation of cultural process is one of the goals of archaeological research. Processual archaeologists use both descriptive and explanatory models based on functional, ecological, or multilinear cultural evolutionary concepts of culture.
data processing
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A stage in archaeological research design usually involving, in the case of artifacts, cleaning, conserving, labeling, inventorying, and cataloging.
deposition
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: depositional process
CATEGORY: geology; term
DEFINITION: Any of the various processes by which artifacts move from active use to an archaeological context, such as loss, disposal, abandonment, burial, etc. It is the laying, placing, or throwing down of any material. In geology, it is the constructive process of accumulation into beds, veins, or irregular masses of any kind of loose, solid rock material by any kind of natural agent (wind, water, ice). The transformation of materials from a systemic to an archaeological context are directly responsible for the accumulation of archaeological sites and they constitute the dominant factor in forming the archaeological record. Deposition is the last stage of behavioral processes, in which artifacts are discarded.
disturbance
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: disturbance process
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The changing or altering of an archaeological context by the effect(s) of an unrelated activity at a later time. Examples include dam building, farming, and heavy construction, as well as noncultural activities such as freeze-thaw cycles, landslides, and simple erosion. Disturbance is also the nonscientific removal of an artifact from its archaeological context.
formation process
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: site formation process
CATEGORY: term; technique
DEFINITION: The total of the processes -- natural and cultural, individual and combined -- that affected the formation and development of the archaeological record. Natural formation processes refer to natural or environmental events which govern the burial and survival of the archaeological record. Cultural formation processes include the deliberate or accidental activities of humans. On a settlement site, for example, the nature of human occupation, the activities carried out, the pattern of breakage and loss of material, rubbish disposal, rebuilding, or re-use of the same area will all influence the surviving archaeological deposits. After the site's abandonment, it will be further affected by such factors as erosion, glaciation, later agriculture, the activities of plants and animals, as well as the natural processes of chemical action in the soil. Reconstruction of these processes helps to relate the observed evidence of an archaeological site to the human activity responsible for it.
iron-making, direct process
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: The technique of smelting iron ore in a furnace with charcoal and limestone to produce a spongy, low-carbon form of iron known as a bloom. This ductile material can be forged into tools and weapons.
iron-making, indirect process
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: The technique of smelting iron ore in a furnace at a very high temperature to yield a molten, high-carbon form of iron. The high-carbon content makes it too brittle for most direct uses, so it must undergo a secondary process, oxidization, to make it more ductile. It can then be forged into weapons and tools. The indirect process of iron-making was developed in China early in the first millennium BC. The Chinese made iron artifacts, heating blooms in a fire and hammering the red-hot metal to produce the desired objects; iron made in this way is known as wrought iron.
lost-wax
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cire perdue, lost-wax casting; lost wax process, lost-wax casting technique
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A method of casting metals in which the desired form was carved in wax, coated with clay and baked; the wax runs out through vents left in the clay for the purpose, and molten metal is then poured through the same vents into the mold. When the metal is cool, the clay is broken off to reveal the metal casting. Each mold can only be used once. The technique was first developed in the 4th millennium BC in the Near East, especially by the Shang bronzeworkers of China. It was also used for gold in South America and Mesoamerica. The method was used for casting complex forms, such as statuary.
new archaeology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: New Archaeology; processual archaeology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: A movement which began in America in the 1960s, aimed at making archaeology more scientific, now more often called processual archaeology. It was suggested that explanations be based on carefully designed models of human behavior and emphasized the importance of understanding underlying cultural processes. This new approach was controversial and is commonly associated with Lewis R. Binford and his students. Binford's New Perspectives in Archaeology" in 1968 stressed the following ideas: the use of new techniques such as the computer for statistical and matrix analyses of data and concept of the ecosystem for the understanding of the economic and subsistence bases of prehistoric societies; an evolutionary view of culture; the use of models of cultures viewed as systems incorporating the evolutionary view of culture and a close relationship between archaeology and anthropology. Although the proponents of the new archaeology have been criticized by more traditionally minded scholars their basic principles are now widely accepted."
postprocessual archaeology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: post-processual explanation, postprocessual approach
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A relatively new school of archaeological thinking that uses the ideational strategy and cautions against the shortcomings of scientific methods and the new (or processual) archaeology. It was formulated in reaction to the perceived limitations of functional-processual archaeology and pushes for an individualizing" or "idiosyncratic" approach that is influenced by structuralism critical theory and neo-Marxist thought. It emphasizes social factors in human societies both the active role of individuals as decision makers and the meaning-laden contexts in which decisions are made. It is based on the notions that culture must be understood as sets of symbols that evoke meanings and that these vary depending on particular contexts of use and the histories of artifacts and the people who use them."
postprocessual paradigm
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A humanistic approach relying on ideational factors to explain archaeological findings, interpreting the past rather than testing hypotheses with scientific methods. The postprocessual paradigm sees change as arising from individuals' interactions within a symbolic or competitive system.
process
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: cultural process
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Cultural change that takes place as a result of interactions between a cultural system's elements and the culture's environment.
processional way
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: A route, often stone- or brick-paved, along which the statues of the gods were carried at festivals. The term is used particularly for the road leading from the Temple of Marduk to the Ishtar Gate and Akitu House temple in Babylon. About 615 BC, the Chaldeans connected the city's temples to the royal palaces with a major Processional Way, a road in which burned bricks and carefully shaped stones were laid in bituminous mortar. In ancient Egyptian towns, there is evidence of the use of paved processional roads leading to the temples. In architecture, the ambulatory is a continuation of the aisled spaces on either side of the nave around the apse or chancel to form a continuous processional way.
processual archaeology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: new archaeology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: A branch of archaeology which seeks to understand the nature of cultural change by a study of the variables which cause it, usually in a manner characteristic of new archaeology". After scientific observation questions are formulated hypotheses are formed to answer the questions and are then tested against the data. The ultimate aim is the formulation of laws. This approach stresses the dynamic relationship between social and economic aspects of culture and the environment. The earlier functional-processual archaeology has been contrasted with cognitive-processual archaeology where the emphasis is on integrating ideological and symbolic aspects."
processual paradigm
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The approach explaining cultural, economic, and social change as being the result of adaptation to material conditions (e.g. the environment) as opposed to ideational factors
processual question
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any question that assumes a location's culture-history is known and asks about the processes of cultural stability and change over time.
re-use process
CATEGORY: term; artifact
DEFINITION: The transformation of materials through successive states within the behavioral system. Potsherds, for example, are sometimes ground up to be used as temper in making new vessels.
reclamation
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: reclamation process
CATEGORY: term; technique
DEFINITION: Any of various processes by which artifacts move from an archaeological context to an active status, i.e. are reclaimed" as when a later society makes use of objects deposited earlier. It is the transition of cultural materials from the archaeological record back into the systemic context such as the scavenging of archaeological artifacts for reuse by both nonindustrial and industrial peoples. The act of archaeological excavation is actually reclamation."
reclamation process
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The transition of cultural materials from the archaeological record back into the systemic context; archaeological excavation itself is reclamation
reuse process
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any human behavior that recycles and resuses artifacts before the artifact enters an archaeological context
site-formation processes
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: site formation process; formation process
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The total of the processes -- natural and cultural, individual and combined -- that affected the formation and development of the archaeological record. Natural formation processes refer to natural or environmental events which govern the burial and survival of the archaeological record. Cultural formation processes include the deliberate or accidental activities of humans. On a settlement site, for example, the nature of human occupation, the activities carried out, the pattern of breakage and loss of material, rubbish disposal, rebuilding, or re-use of the same area will all influence the surviving archaeological deposits. After the site's abandonment, it will be further affected by such factors as erosion, glaciation, later agriculture, the activities of plants and animals, as well as the natural processes of chemical action in the soil. Reconstruction of these processes helps to relate the observed evidence of an archaeological site to the human activity responsible for it.
transformational process
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Any process, natural or human-caused, that transforms an abandoned prehistoric settlement into an archaeological site over time. This includes the conditions and events that affect archaeological data from the time of deposition to the time of recovery.

Display More Results

Another Dictionary Search