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Archaeologists working on the 19th century Levi Jordan Plantation in Texas have interviewed descendants of both the plantation owners and the enslaved plantation workers as part of their research.
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Since the s, urban archaeologists have dug deep under modern cities such as London, Paris, and New York City, uncovering earlier cities that lie beneath streets and skyscrapers.
Because of the high costs of excavation and concerns about conserving the archaeological record, most archaeologists today work on small projects in relatively short periods of time. In some cases, historical accounts give archaeologists ideas about what to look for in excavations and clues to the meaning of what they find.
Archaeological research spans the entire development of phenomena that are unique to humans. They also specialize in particular methods of study.
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In other words, the uppermost layer is the most recent, and each deeper layer is somewhat older. CRM now accounts for most U. Some sites are explored provisionally by sampling cuts known as sondages. A datum point, or fixed reference point from which all measurements are taken, is established and a rectangular grid is superimposed over the whole site.
This kind of archaeology first developed in North America and England. The opening of the tomb chamber in an Egyptian pyramid is, for example, a very different operation from the excavation of a tell in Mesopotamia or a barrow grave in western Europe.
The earliest subjects of archaeological study date from the origins of humanity. In many societies, literacy was restricted to the elite classes, such as the clergy or the bureaucracy of court or temple. It involves the same techniques of observation, discovery, and recording that are the basis of archaeology on land, but adapted to the special conditions of working underwater.
This relatively straightforward study is based on bone pathology. For instance, in the s and s, American archaeologists Fred Wendorf and Angela Close excavated a series of tiny foraging camps by the Nile River in Egypt.
Antiquarians studied history with particular attention to ancient artifacts and manuscripts, as well as historical sites. Carl Sagan stated, "Vedic Cosmology is the only one in which the time scales correspond to those of modern scientific cosmology.
Although writing was Tangowire dating network thousands of years ago in some parts of the world, many historical archaeologists study only the past few hundred years.
A major figure in the development of archaeology into a rigorous science was the army officer and ethnologistAugustus Pitt Rivers who began excavations on his land in England in the s. In experimental archaeology, archaeologists perform controlled experiments to help interpret finds such as abandoned fire hearths, accumulations of waste from stone toolmaking, and collapsed buildings.
Hillman determined that the nut-rich forests that grew close to Abu Hureyra in BC must have retreated later during a long period of dry weather. Archaeological sites are usually inconspicuous, however. By analyzing this information for several related archaeological sites, archaeologists assemble long sequences of past human cultures.
During this time, the inhabitants of the valley shifted from a pattern of seasonal migration and a diet of wild plants and game animals to a more stable pattern of settlement and a diet based on cultivated maize cornbeans, and squash. Gridding the Site Once a site has been excavated, it is gone forever.
The black dots are the many archeological sites or previous settlements along the banks of the now dry Sarasvati River. However, the increased use of radiocarbon dating and of computers and other high-technology scientific methods in archaeology led to a major theoretical revolution in the s.
Using computerized recording equipment and three-dimensional plots, researchers can recreate a site on a computer screen for analysis. Archaeologists draw from what is already known of the archaeological record to develop their interpretations.
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