Archaeology Wordsmith

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Angkor Borei
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of the capital of the kingdom of Funan towards the end of the 6th century. The rich archaeological site is located south of Phnom Penh, near the Vietnam border, in Cambodia. It appears as Na-fu-na in Chinese writings and is identified with Naravaranagara. There are many stone statuary.
arboreal
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: Concerning trees. In pollen analysis, arboreal pollen types are distinguished from shrub pollen and herbaceous pollen.
arboreal pollen
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: Pollen from trees.
Astarte
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Asherah, Ashtoreth, Ashtart
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: The goddess of the ancient Near East that was the chief deity of many important sites and the fertility goddess of the Phoenicians and the Canaanites. She is sometimes equated with Egyptian Isis, Babylonian Ishtar, Carthaginian Tanit, and Greek Aphrodite, Cybele, and Hera. She originated in Syria as a war goddess, probably introduced into Egypt in the 18th Dynasty (1550-1295 BC). Astarte was usually portrayed as a naked woman on horseback wearing a headdress or bull horns.
Australian Core Tool and Scraper Tradition
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A late Pleistocene and Holocene stone tool industry of mainland Australia and Tasmania with artifacts dating from 30,000 BC (at Lake Mungo). The industry was characterized by high-domed chunky cores (called 'horsehoof cores') and steep-edge flake scrapers. The industry has close parallels in the islands of Southeast Asia.
B.P.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Before Present, BP
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The abbreviation for 'Before Present', used especially in radiocarbon dating. The fixed reference date for 'Before Present' has been established as 1950 AD. Thus, 4250 BP would mean 4250 years prior to 1950, or 2300 BC. The year 1950 was the latest that the atmosphere was sufficiently uncontaminated to act as a standard for radiocarbon dating. The lower case 'bp' represents uncalibrated radiocarbon years; the capitals BP denote a calibrated radiocarbon date, or a date derived from some other dating method, such as potassium-argon, that does not need calibration.
bifacial core
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A core that has had flakes removed from multiple faces; may be mistaken for a large biface blank.
blade core
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flint or stone core from which blades have been struck. Such cores are typically conical or pyramidal in shape; to produce regular even blades a certain degree of preparation is needed as well as periodic rejuvenation. Both these activities produce their own distinctive debitage.
bog iron
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: lake ore, limnite, marsh ore, meadow ore, morass ore, swamp ore, bog iron ore
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A workable, porous type of brown hematite (impure hydrous oxides) found in bogs (and also in marshes, swamps, peat mosses, and shallow lake beds). This deposit is formed when iron-bearing surface waters come into contact with organic material and iron oxides are precipitated through oxidation of algae, iron bacteria, or the atmosphere. It is frequently found in areas with subarctic or arctic climatic conditions.
bore sample
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: core sample
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In dendrochronology, a straw-sized core removed from the bark to the pith of a tree to note and count each tree ring.
Boreal
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Boreal Climatic Interval
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A climatic subdivision of the Holocene epoch, following the Pre-Boreal and preceding the Atlantic climatic intervals. Radiocarbon dating shows the period beginning about 9,500 years ago and ending about 7,500 years ago. The Boreal was supposed to be warm and dry. In Europe, the Early Boreal was characterized by hazel-pine forest assemblages and lowering sea levels. In the Late Boreal, hazel-oak forest assemblages were dominant, but the seas were rising. In some areas, notably the North York moors, southern Pennines and lowland heaths, Mesolithic man appears to have been responsible for temporary clearances by fire and initiated the growth of moor and heath vegetation.
bored stone
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A rounded stone of various sizes with a bored hole in the middle, found in central and southern Africa and dating back 40,000 years. Some were used as weights on digging sticks.
borer
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A flint tool for piercing holes.
Boscoreale
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The site of two villas that were suburbs of Rome, near Pompeii, with important and sumptuous artifacts and painted rooms dating c 40 BC. These include possessions of the great patrician families of Rome, such as paintings illustrating Dionysiac mysteries, jewels, and magnificent gold and silver household furnishings. The cubiculum of one villa at Boscoreale is preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of New York City and other items are kept at the Louvre. Many of the rich hoards were accidentally saved by the volcanic catastrophe of 79 AD.
brown earth
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: brown forest soil, brown earths
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Brown forest soils that result from prolonged forestal conditions and which develops under mature deciduous woodland. Brown earths are thought to have covered most of the British Isles and temperate Europe under the great forests which existed during the middle of the present Interglacial. The soil type is penetrated by tree roots and actively worked by earthworms to a considerable depth. The top is well-mixed mineral material and humus. As a result of woodland cover being removed repeatedly, these soils are rare today.
caatinga
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: thorn forest
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: A type of forest consisting of dry, thorny shrubs and stunted deciduous trees found in Brazil, especially in the northeast.
Carrowmore
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A cemetery site in Sligo, Ireland, with megalithic tombs consisting of circular boulder kerbs and boulder-built chambers. The radiocarbon date is c 4500 BC, which would make these the earliest chambered tombs of Ireland.
central limit theorem
CATEGORY: measure
DEFINITION: A theorem in statistics that assures us that, provided sample size is sufficiently large, the sampling distribution of a random sample drawn even from a rather unusual distribution is approximately normal with a mean of <u> and variance of <o2>/N.
claymore
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A two edged broadsword.
core
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: coring
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A black or gray zone in the interior cross-section of a vessel wall, usually associated with incomplete removal of carbonaceous matter from the clay during relatively low-temperature firing; not to be confused with black coring at high temperatures, which results from trapped gases and may lead to bloating
core
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: nucleus
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A piece of stone used as a blank from which flakes or blades were removed by prehistoric toolmakers. Usually it was the by-product of toolmaking, but it may also have been shaped and modified to serve as an implement in its own right. An object, such as a hand-ax, chopper, or scraper made in this way is a core tool. Cores were most often produced when hit by a pebble, antler, or bone hammer.
core borer
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: A hollow tubelike instrument used to collect samples of soils, pollens, and other materials from below the surface. The cylinder of soil etc. that is collected is called the core. The core is undisturbed and the sediment contacts, soil boundaries, and structures are intact and can be described accurately.
core rejuvenation flake
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: core tablet
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A roughly round slightly wedge-shaped flake of flint with the remains of flake beds around the outside edge. Such flakes are the product of extending the life of a core that has become uneven or difficult to work but which still has the potential to yield further blades.
core sampling
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: coring
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A subsurface detection technique using a hollow metal tube driven into the ground to lift a column of earth for stratigraphic study. This technique is used in underground or undersea exploration. A core sample is a roughly cylindrical piece of subsurface material removed by a special drill and brought to the surface for examination. Such a sample reveals the properties of underground rock, such as its porosity and permeability and allows investigation of the features of a given strata.
core tool
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: core, core-tool
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A stone tool, such as a hand-ax, chopper, or scraper, formed by chipping away flakes from a core. These tools, often large and relatively heavy, were characteristic of Paleolithic the culture. They were made by using a pebble, antler, or bone hammer.
core-formed glass
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of glass made by twisting melted glass around a core, often with different colors. This technique was used especially in the Classical and Hellenistic periods of the eastern Mediterranean.
coregency
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A term applied to the periods during which two rulers were simultaneously in power, usually with an overlap of several years.
cross-over immunoelectrophoresis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: CIEP
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: One of the several techniques used in protein residue analysis.
culture core
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Technological, organizational, and ideological features most directly related to meeting the most important material needs of a society.
deep sea cores
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: deep sea core dating, deep-sea cores
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A technique used in the analysis of data from oceanic sediments in which the material retrieved by the core yields information on temperature changes in the ocean through time. These changes, suggestive of climatic variation, help to chart the progress of glaciation and, since they can be dated, the technique assists in the establishment of a chronology for the Quaternary. The cores, some 5 cm. in diameter and up to 25 m. deep, are extracted from the ocean floor. The sediments they contain have a high percentage of calcium carbonate content made up of the shells of small marine organisms and these sediments build up very slowly, from 10-50 mm per 1000 years, but their sequence is uninterrupted. Since these organisms have different temperature preferences depending on species, the relative abundance of the various species changes as the temperature alters. Variations in the ratio of two oxygen isotopes in the calcium carbonate of these shells give a sensitive indicator of sea temperature at the time the organisms were alive. Through the identification of the species, and by the use of oxygen isotope analysis, a picture can be built up of variations in temperature over the millennia. Since various forms of dating (radiocarbon dating, ionium dating, uranium series dating, palaeomagnetism, protactinium/ionium dating) can be used on the carbonate in the shells, absolute dates can be given to the different levels in the core. Thus dates emerge for glaciations and interglacial periods, which can assist in the age determination of archaeological material found in association with these glacial phases. Problems with the technique are the difficulty of correlating oceanic temperature changes with continental glacial and interglacial phases, and the disturbance by animals living on the ocean bottom. The piston corer was developed in 1947.
disk-core method
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A technique in the making of stone tools in which a core is trimmed to a distinctive disk shape and flakes are then chipped off for tools.
Dorestad
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Duurstede
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The trading center of the Frisians in the Netherlands, from which they controlled the old Rhine, the Vecht, and the Lek until the course of the river changed. Excavations have located an earthwork defense of this medieval site and have produced enormous quantities of occupation debris including large amounts of imported Rhenish and local pottery, wine casks from the Mainz area, Niedermendig lava Querns, and stone mortars made in eastern Belgium. There is also evidence of industrial activities like weaving, shipbuilding, bone and metalworking. Dorestad is the best-excavated and finest example of a Carolingian emporium and illustrates the scale of commerce between the imperial estates in the Rhineland and other North Sea communities.
energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: XRF
CATEGORY: geology (and metallurgy)
DEFINITION: A technique that analyzes obsidian's trace elements to "fingerprint" an artifact and trace to its geological source
Fiorelli, Giuseppe (1823-1896)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: Archaeologist who took over the early excavations at Pompeii, from 1860-1875, and was one of the first to apply the methods of stratigraphy and area excavation on a large scale. Through his training school at Pompeii he passed on his methods to many other archaeologists. He also developed a technique for taking plaster casts of the hollows in the hardened ash and cinders, thus creating impressions of the dead and other materials.
Florence
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Roman Florentia, modern Italian Firenze
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Florence is a city in central Italy that was founded as a Roman military colony about the 1st century BC and achieved preeminence in commerce and finance, learning, and the arts during the 14th-16th centuries. Discovery of Villanovan material suggests earlier occupation, perhaps from the 8th-9th centuries BC. Remains of the Roman period include bath buildings, theater and amphitheater, and a temple to Isis.
florescence
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: In archaeology, what is considered the peak period of a culture -- the state or period of flourishing -- particularly in material aspects such as art and architecture.
forensic archaeology
CATEGORY: branch
DEFINITION: A subset of archaeology applying archaeological and bioarchaeological knowledge in legal proceedings
foreshaft
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: fore-shaft
CATEGORY: artifact; lithics
DEFINITION: The front part of something, as of a projectile point.
foreshaft
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: fore-shaft
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The front part of something, as of a projectile point.
forest clearance
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: The cutting down of natural vegetation before the planting of crops or grazing of domestic animals. Early on, clearings would be produced by the slash and burn method. Evidence for this process is provided by pollen analysis, in the form of a sharp decline in the proportion of tree pollen, corresponding with a rise in the pollen of grasses, including the cereals, and weeds of cultivation, especially plantains and goosefoots.
georeferenced
CATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: Pertaining to data that is input to a GIS database using a common mapping reference (e.g. UTM grid) so that the data can be spatially analyzed
georeferencing
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: computer rectification
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The process of assigning map coordinates to image data and resampling the pixels of the image to conform to the map projection grid.
hematite
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: bloodstone, red hematite, red iron ore, red ocher, rhombohedral iron ore, haematite
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A heavy, deep red iron oxide commonly used by the Indians as decorative body paint and pictographs. Steel-gray crystals and coarse-grained varieties are known as specular iron ore; thin scaly types are called micaceous hematite. Much hematite occurs in a soft, fine-grained, earthy form called red ochre or ruddle. Red ochre is used as a paint pigment; a purified form, rouge, is used to polish plate glass. The most important deposits of hematite are sedimentary in origin and the largest deposit is in the Lake Superior district in North America.
Hispano-Moresque pottery
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A tin-glazed, lustrous, highly decorated earthenware made by Moorish potters in Span in the late medieval period, chiefly at Málaga in the 15th century, and in the region of Manises, near Valencia, in the 16th century. They tend to be plates and jugs with bold semi-abstract designs painted on a creamy background and with a gold luster finish. These wares were much in demand throughout Europe and, judging from finds in northern Europe, they were widely traded. The tin glaze was applied over a design usually traced in cobalt blue; after the first firing, the luster, a metallic pigment, was applied by brush over the tin glaze, and the piece was fired again. Imitation of this pottery in Italy led to the development of Italian maiolica ware.
horncore
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: horn core
CATEGORY: fauna
DEFINITION: The hard, bony inner portion of animal horn; the bony projections from the skull which support horns. The horn itself forms a tight sheath around the core, which is removed for horn working. Some archaeological sites have large accumulations of horn cores related to a horn-working industry.
horsehoof core
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A steep-edged, often large, domed core with flat based striking platforms, heavily step-flanked around their margins. Both very large and smaller varieties are found commonly on Pleistocene sites in most areas of Australia and on some mid-Holocene sites and they are considered characteristic of the Australian Core Tool and Scraper tradition. They were chopping tools mainly used in wood-working. The step-flaking could have resulted from repeated striking to remove flakes.
horsehoof cores
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A steep-edged, often large, domed core with flat based striking platforms, heavily step-flanked around their margins. Both very large and smaller varieties are found commonly on Pleistocene sites in most areas of Australia and on some mid-Holocene sites and they are considered characteristic of the Australian Core Tool and Scraper tradition. They were chopping tools mainly used in wood-working. The step-flaking could have resulted from repeated striking to remove flakes.
Horus
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Harmakhis, Harakhte, Harsiesis, Kawm Umbu, Haroeris, Harpocrates, Harsomtus, Horemakhet, Ra-Horakhty; Hor; Har
CATEGORY: deity
DEFINITION: An Egyptian god in the form of a falcon, recognized in Hierakonpolis and Edfu as contemporary with and opponent of Seth. The falcon's eyes stood for the sun and the moon. He later was considered the son of Isis and Osiris, with the reigning pharaoh being his incarnation. Horus is one of the oldest gods of Egypt, attested from at least as early as the beginning of the Dynastic period (c 2775 BC). He could also be a falcon-headed human in form. Horus appeared as a local god in many places and under different names and epithets: for instance, as Harmakhis (Har-em-akhet, Horus in the Horizon"); Harpocrates (Har-pe-khrad "Horus the Child"); Harsiesis (Har-si-Ese "Horus Son of Isis"); Harakhte ("Horus of the Horizon closely associated with the sun god Re); and, at Kawm Umbu (Kom Ombo), as Haroeris (Harwer, Horus the Elder"). Horus was later identified by the Greeks with Apollo."
ice cores
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Borings taken from the Arctic and Antarctic polar ice caps, containing layers of compacted ice, useful for the reconstruction of paleoenvironments and paleoclimatology and as a method of absolute dating. Continuous cores, sometimes taken to the bedrock below, allow the sampling of an ice sheet through its entire history of accumulation. Because there is no melting, the layered structure of the ice preserves a continuous record of snow accumulation and chemistry, air temperature and chemistry, and fallout from volcanic, terrestrial, marine, cosmic, and man-made sources. Actual samples of ancient atmospheres are trapped in air bubbles within the ice. This record extends back more than 300,000 years.
inflorescence
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: The flowering part of a plant.
Kansyore ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: A comb-stamped pottery found at several pre-Iron Age sites around Lake Victoria in East Africa in the first millennium BC. The makers of Kansyore ware appear to have been hunter-gatherers, makers of a backed microlith industry.
Kokorevo
CATEGORY: site; culture
DEFINITION: Six Upper Palaeolithic sites on the Yenisei River in southern Siberia. Radiocarbon dates put Kokorevo I-IV between 15,900-12940 bp. There are wedge-shaped microcores, microblades, sidescrapers, and retouched blades. Level I is Kokorevo culture, II and III are Afontova culture. The Kokorevo culture is dated to c 20,000-10,000 BP and included endscrapers.
kore
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pl. korai
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of freestanding statue of a maiden -- the female counterpart of the kouros, or standing youth -- that appeared with the beginning of Greek monumental sculpture in about 660 BC and remained to the end of the Archaic period in about 500 BC. It evolved from a highly stylized form to a more naturalistic one. The statue was usually draped, carved from marble, and painted in its original form. These are often dedications in sanctuaries and some are found in funeral contexts. Important series were in the temple of Hera on Samos and on the Acropolis in Athens.
Korean periodization
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: Classification of the eras of Korea by archaeologists and historians. The major divisions following the Palaeolithic are: Chulmun, 7000-1000 BC; Bronze Age, 700 BC-0 AD; Iron Age, 400 BC-300 AD; Proto-Three Kingdoms, 0 -300 AD; Three kingdoms, 300-668; United Silla, 668-935; Koryo, 935-1392; Yi, 1392-1910; Japanese Colonial, 1910-1945; Modern, and 1945-present.
kouros
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: kore (female); plural kouroi
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A Greek statue of a youth or a standing nude male youth, of the Archaic Period. The large stone figures began to appear in Greece about 615-590 BC It was a funerary marker or dedication in a sanctuary. They are usually larger than lifesize; made of marble, bronze, or alabaster, and could be painted. It is thought to have been influenced by Egyptian sculpture; the first appearance of such monumental stone figures seems to coincide with the reopening of Greek trade with Egypt c 672 BC. The kouros remained a popular form of sculpture until about 460 BC.
Laurentian
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lake Forest Late Archaic
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Important Late Archaic tradition in northern New York and Vermont and the upper St. Lawrence valley, c 4000-1500 BC. Characteristic artifacts are broad-bladed, notched projectile points; bifaces, scrapers, and polished-stone tools (celts, gouges, plummets, slate knives or points). The tradition has phases such as Brewerton, Vergennes, and Vosburg.
Lelang
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: [Lo-lang; Korean: Nangnang]
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: One of the Han colonies established in the Korean peninsula, a Chinese commandery established in 108 BC. Lelang survived as an outpost of the Chinese empire until 313 AD. Tombs contained Han lacquers, bronze mirrors, and gold filigree work. Some of the lacquers carry dated inscriptions, the dates ranging from 85 BC-102 AD, indicating that they were made in Sichuan in western China.
Levallois core
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A prepared core from which a single flake or blade has been produced. The technique was primarily used in the Palaeolithic and Neolithic.
Luristan bronze
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Lorestan
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Any of the horse trappings, utensils, weapons, jewelry, belt buckles, and ritual and votive objects of bronze probably dating from roughly 2600-600 BC that have been excavated in the Harsin, Khorramabad, and Alishtar valleys of the Zagros Mountains in the Lorestan region of western Iran, especially at the site of Tepe Sialk. Their precise origin is unknown. Scholars believe that they were created either by the Cimmerians, a nomadic people from southern Russia who may have invaded Iran in the 8th century BC, or by such related Indo-European peoples as the early Medes and Persians. The term denotes a broad region of this metalwork and therefore has little cultural historical meaning.
magnetite
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: lodestone, magnetic iron ore
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A strongly magnetic form of iron ore, a major constituent of magnetitite and a common accessory mineral in igneous rocks. In the Mesoamerican region, magnetite was commonly mined and polished to make mirrors and compasses. It frequently has distinct north and south poles, and has been known for this property at least since 500 BC.
microblade core
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: The nucleus from which micro-blades were manufactured. Usually a small barrel or conical shaped stone artifact with a flat top and one or more fluted surfaces left as scars from the removal of the microblades.
millefiore
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: millefiori
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A type of multicolored glass and the technique which creates it -- literally meaning 'a thousand flowers'. One millefiore method is to take a cane of glass, encase it with several layers of glass of different colors, and then heat the whole and roll it on a corrugated surface, thus compressing the colors at certain points and producing a rod with a flowerlike section. Small slices can be cut off this rod and inlaid into the object to be decorated. Another method is to lay thin glass rods of different colors into a pattern, fuse them together, draw them out, and cut in slices in the same way. The effect is mosaic. The technique was developed by Anglo-Saxon glass- and metal-workers. Some of the finest examples of the millefiore technique can be seen adorning the Sutton Hoo discoveries -- the brilliant reds and blues on the purse lid and shoulder clasps.
Miraflores
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A complex of cultural materials which define a phase from 100 BC to 200 AD of Highland Mayan sites in the Late Pre-Classic period. It is the Late Formative period of the Valley of Guatemala. Characteristic artifacts include engraved soft stone and monochrome ceramic vessels, as well as 'mushroom stones' (hollow stones set in an annular base and capped with mushroom-shaped covers, which may have been used in rites with hallucinogenic mushrooms). A strong Izapan influence is evident. The huge Miraflores mounds located at Kaminaljuyú contained log tombs of incredible richness. In one, the deceased was accompanied by sacrificed followers or captives. As many as 340 objects were placed with him, including jade mosaic masks, jade ear spools and necklaces, bowls of chlorite schist, and pottery vessels of great beauty.
Moore, Clarence Bloomfield (1852-1936)
CATEGORY: person
DEFINITION: American archaeologist considered one of the forefathers of Americanist archaeology. He worked on the southeastern coast of North America with major contributions at Moundville, Alabama, and Poverty Point, Louisiana.
mores
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Stronger norms than folkways, generally accepted by members of a group without question, embodying the fundamental moral views of a group. Mores are of such central importance to a group that violators usually receive severe punishment for their infraction.
Motupore
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A site on an offshore island near Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, with an excavated sequence from 1100-1700 AD, ancestral to the present Austronesian-speaking Motu inhabitants of the region. The sequence documents the development of the specialized ethnographic Motu trading system, in which pottery, shell beads, and marine resources were exchanged for sago and wallaby meat from adjacent Papuan Gulf communities.
multidirectional core
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A core that has had flakes removed from two or more directions.
Nahal Oren
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Cave and open terrace site on the western slope of Mount Carmel, Israel, occupied from the early Upper Palaeolithic (Kebaran, c 16,300-13,850 BC) to the early Aceramic Neolithic (PPNA) and PPNB (Pre-Pottery Neolithic B). Natufian levels show a strong bias towards the selective hunting, or possibly herding, of gazelle and this continued through to the PPNA levels. There was a growing assemblage of processing tools such as mortars, suggesting that plant-gathering was becoming more important. The material culture included chipped stone tools, ground stone tools, bone tools, stone vessels, and art objects. Natufian and PPNA buildings were round houses with central fireplaces. In the PPNB, they switched to rectangular houses with paved floors; these were sited on the artificial terrace outside the cave, constructed in the Natufian phase. A cemetery of early Natufian date is associated with the site: bodies were buried individually, usually tightly flexed with knees drawn up to the chin; old mortars were used as grave markers. Grave goods include carved stone and bone work; the most notable example was a gazelle's head.
New Forest ware
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: One of the pottery wares of southern Roman Britain in the late 3rd-4th centuries AD, produced by craftsmen in the New Forest area. Decoration is scarce, consisting of white slipped scrolls or rosette stamps or stamped-on designs. Vessel shapes included cups, flagons, and mortaria. It was of two kinds: one a hard gray ware, with a painted, white ornamentation and a dark purple glaze and the other was a creamy ware with a red slip. It had limited distribution, no farther than 80 km from the kilns.
nonarboreal pollen
CATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: Pollen from nontree plants, such as sedges and grasses.
nucleus
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: core
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: The block of primary material from which flakes have been removed by percussion for use in tools. The nucleus is what is left after the stone has been worked on and often bears characteristic signs of the method used.
Ochre-Colored Pottery
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ochre Colored Pottery; OCP
CATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: An Indian pottery type, a distinctive ceramic of post-Harappan upper Ganges Valley. It is a thick and usually badly fired and badly preserved red ware with an ochre wash and its importance lies in the fact that it serves to bridge the gap in the later 2nd millennium between the Harappan material of the Indus Civilization and the black-and-red and painted-gray wares of the Iron Age. The earliest date for the ware comes from Jodhpura in Rajasthan c early 3rd millennium BC, but in the upper Ganges Valley it has early 2nd millennium BC dates. It has been found in association with a harpoon of Gangetichoard type at Saipai and with Gangetic hoards.
ore
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A mineral or mineral aggregate containing a prized constituent, usually a metal, for which it is mined and worked.
piston corer
CATEGORY: tool
DEFINITION: A device for extracting columns of sediment from the ocean floor. Deeper cores are taken by the piston corer, which can take samples as long as 20 meters. In a piston corer, a closely fitted piston attached to the end of the lowering cable is installed inside the coring tube. When the coring tube is driven into the ocean floor, friction exerts a downward pull on the core sample. The hydrostatic pressure on the ocean bottom, however, exerts an upward pressure on the core that will work against a vacuum being created between the piston and the top of the core. The piston, in effect, provides a suction that overcomes the frictional forces acting between the sediment sample and the inside of the coring tube. The hydraulic piston corer is used by deep-sea drilling ships and can take undisturbed cores of lengths up to 200 meters. Dates for the different layers are obtained by radiocarbon, paleomagnetism, or uranium series methods.
pollen core
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A stratified sample of soil or sediment that is taken to recover the plant pollen, and hence to discover changes in the local vegetation over time. A column of soil or peat is extracted from the ground containing a continuous record of pollen grains representative of changing vegetation over a period of time -- and the deeper the core, the older the pollen.
Pre-Boreal
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pre-Boreal Climatic Interval
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A division of Holocene chronology which began about 10,000 years ago and ended about 9,500 years ago. The Pre-Boreal Climatic Interval preceded the Boreal Climatic Interval and was a time of increasing climatic moderation. Birch-pine forests and tundra were dominant. It is a subdivision of the Flandrian Interglacial and represents the start of the Flandrian.
prepared core
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A nodule of chert, flint, or obsidian which has been shaped to easily produce blades.
prepared-core technique
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A method of stone-tool production whereby cores themselves are shaped in order to produce flakes of a desired form, instead of the flakes being shaped after their removal from the core.
prismatic core
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A roughly rectangular block of flint prepared for the effective removal of long narrow blades by creating a striking platform at either end so that blades could be removed in alternate directions.
pyramidal core
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A single-platform core that tapers away from the platform as a result of flake removals.
rejuvenated core
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A core that has been given a new platform once it has become difficult or impossible to remove flakes or blades from the previous one.
Saccopastore
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: Palaeolithic site in a quarry near Rome, Italy, which has yielded two human skulls. These are regarded as early or generalized Neanderthals (Neanderthaloid) and are believed to belong to the last Interglacial. The brain sizes of both skulls are smaller than classic Neanderthals. A few Mousterian stone tools were found associated with them.
San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan / San Lorenzo
CATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: The oldest-known Olmec center, located in Veracruz, Mexico, and revealing information on Olmec origins. It was a large nucleated village flourishing during the Early Formative. The first phase of occupation (Ojochi, c 1800-1650 BC) left no architectural traces, but during the next period (Bajío, 1650-1550 BC) a start was made on the artificial plateau with lateral ridges forming the base of most subsequent structures. The Chicharras phase (1550-1450 BC) foreshadows true Olmec in its pottery, figurines, and perhaps also in stone-carving. The San Lorenzo phase (1450-1100 BC) marks the Olmec climax at the site, whose layout then resembled that of La Venta. The principal features of the site are a large platform mound and a cluster of smaller mounds surrounding what may be the earliest ball court in Mesoamerica; more than 200 house mounds are clustered around these central features. A system of carved stone drains underlying the site is a unique structural feature. Around 900 BC, the stone monuments were mutilated and buried upon the center's collapse. La Venta then came to power. The monuments weighed as much as 44 tons and were carved from basalt from the Cerro Cintepec, a volcanic flow in the Tuxtla Mountains about 50 air miles to the northwest. It is believed that the stones were somehow dragged down to the nearest navigable stream and from there transported on rafts up the Coatzacoalcos River to the San Lorenzo area. The amount of labor involved must have been enormous, indicating a complex social system to ensure the task's completion. Most striking are the colossal heads human portraits on a stupendous scale, the largest of which is 9 feet high. After a short hiatus, the site was reoccupied by a group whose culture still shows late Olmec affinities (Palangana phase, 800-450 BC), but was again abandoned until 900 AD when it was settled by early post-Classic (Villa Alta) people who used plumbate and fine orange pottery. The collapse of San Lorenzo c 1150/1100 BC was abrupt and violent. The population was forced to do its agricultural work well outside the site, which may have contributed to the center's collapse.
Saxon Shore
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Latin Iitus saxonicum
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A system for defending the coasts of southeast England against raiding Saxon pirates, begun between 287-296 AD and was later (367 AD) constituted a separate command under the Count of the Saxon Shore. It consisted of a series of forts at strategic sites from the Wash to Southhampton, usually at the mouth of estuaries which served as harbors for attached naval units. Burgh Castle near Yarmouth, Richborough in Kent, and Porchester near Portsmouth are the best preserved of these forts. The forts were massive stone structures, defended by projecting bastions, and characterized by narrow gateways. It was a comprehensive coastal command developed with communications and administration.
spore
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: Mainly airborne reproductive body released by nonflowering plants, such as fungi, ferns, and mosses.
Sub-Boreal
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Sub-Boreal Climatic period, subboreal
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: One of the five postglacial climate and vegetation periods of northern Europe, occurring c 3000-1500 BC or, according to some, 0 AD, based on pollen analysis. The Sub-Boreal, dated by radiocarbon methods, began c 5,100 years ago and ended about 2,200 years ago. It is a division of Holocene chronology (10,000 years ago-present). The Sub-Boreal Climatic Interval followed the Atlantic and preceded the Sub-Atlantic Climatic Interval. It was characterized by a cooler and moister climate than that of the preceding Atlantic period. It is a subdivision of the Flandrian, starting with the Elm Decline. Frequencies of tree pollen fall and herbaceous pollen rises, representing man's invasion of the forest in the Neolithic and Bronze Age. It is correlated with pollen zone VIII, and the climate was warm and dry. The Sub-Boreal forests were dominated by oak and ash and show the first evidence of extensive burning and clearance by humans. Domesticated animals and natural fauna were abundant.
taiga
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: boreal forest
CATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: Sub-arctic boreal forest; open coniferous forest in the northern latitudes. Taiga grows on swampy ground that is commonly covered with lichen. It is the characteristic vegetation of the subpolar region spanning northern Eurasia, between the colder tundra zone to the north and the warmer temperate zone to the south.
theoretical statement
CATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: A proposal or the development of a particular explanation or way of understanding human behavior and the effects of humans on the material world.
thermoremnant magnetism
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A magnetic moment induced into an item by heat.
tortoise core
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: In stone toolmaking, a distinctive core having the shape of a tortoise shell and characteristic of the Levalloisian culture. A nodule of flint is prepared to form a core resembling a tortoise, from which flakes are struck.
unidirectional core
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A core that has had flakes removed from only one direction.
void
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: pore
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An open space in a pottery fabric
wedge-shaped microcore
CATEGORY: lithics
DEFINITION: A core that is small and keel- or wedge-shaped and used to make microblades. They have been found in East Europe, Siberia, Mongolia, northern China, Alaska, northwestern North America, and Japan on Upper Palaeolithic sites from the close of the Pleistocene.
X-ray fluorescence
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, X-ray fluorimetry; XRF; X-ray fluorescence analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A nondestructive physical method used for chemical analyses of solids and liquids. The specimen is irradiated by an intense X-ray beam and the lines in the spectrum of the resulting X-ray fluorescence are diffracted at various angles by a crystal with known lattice spacing; the elements in the specimen are identified by the wavelengths of their spectral lines, and their concentrations are determined by the intensities of these lines. Constituent elements are identified based on the unique wavelengths of fluorescent X-rays they emit and concentrations are estimated on the intensity of the released X-rays. It can be used on pottery, obsidian, glass, and some metal and under most circumstances is totally non-destructive. In general terms the method is more suitable for the analysis of the major elements in a specimen, though trace elements can be determined in some cases. Since automation of recording and sample changing is possible, large numbers of samples can be analyzed at speed, which gives this method a definite advantage over atomic absorption spectrometry and optical emission spectrometry.

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