Anthropology Essay Paper on Archaeology Exercise

Archaeology Exercise

  1. What type of site is this? (Do not state that it is an archaeological or cave site.)

It is a prehistoric site that contains artifacts of what appears to be representative of human beings that lived in the cave before the age of civilization.

  • What are the artifacts in this site?

Artifacts are items found on an archeological site that are portable and used by human beings in their day to day activities. The plum pits, broken pieces of clay figurines, scrapers, fish hooks and eyed needles made from ivory are the artifacts at the site. The stone lamp with animal fat also represents an artifact in use by the human beings for lighting usually at night.

  • What are the features in this site?

Features in an archeological site are those items that are considered as being non-portable at an archeological site.  Features at a site are evidence of human activity whether technology or non-technologically advanced. The features in this site include ashes and further evidenced by the presence of several items on the site such as the pile of mammal bones (deer, horse, and pig), fish bones and stone fragments (Jurmain, Kilgore & Trevathan, 12). In the main cavern there was also a hearth with three feet of ash depth.  The hearth also had charred deer bones among the ashes. The handprints and spirals on the wall also represent features.

  • What are the ecofacts found here?

The pollen from daisies which are covering the child’s body at the cave is considered as ecofacts. Ecofacts are usually defined as the plant or animal material that is found on a historic or prehistoric site. It constitutes of plant and animal materials that has not had any technology applied to alter its state for whatever purpose that might be applicable. Fish bones, deer bones, pig bones and horse bones found at the site are also representative of ecofacts found at this particular site.

  • Describe the archaeological context.

The archeological context in this site is secondary. This site has been altered via human and natural phenomena. If the site was of natural secondary context, there would be no evidence of any form of human life. This particular site is of secondary context because it has evidence of human life such as the fish, deer, and horse and pig bones. One can conclude that the animal bones are at the site because they formed part of the food eaten by humans that lived in the cave(Jurmain, Kilgore & Trevathan, 12). The human child bones at the site also suggest that humans lived in the cave and performed a burial suggesting cultural and maybe religious practices held by the human beings living in the cave at that particular time.

  • What types of dating technologies would you use? On what and why? (List at least one relative and one absolute technology.)

Various methods would be appropriate for use at the given archeological site since there are a range of different items to be dated.

Stratigraphy is the relative form of dating technology that I would use on the site. I would use it on the soil in the cave because since the area is enclosed (a cave) there is minimal likelihood of disturbance of soil on the area. The soil would then be compared with other soil from historic times to ascertain its time period and age.

For absolute dating technique, I would use radio carbon dating on the organic remains at the site. I think that radio carbon dating is accurate since it measures carbon in artifacts and ecofacts.

7. What is the probable time period of the site and what species occupied this cave? How do you know? Be specific in noting the evidence to support your conclusion.

The probable time period of the site is Stone Age under Upper Paleolithic based on the tools that were in use as found on the site inside the cave. Blades and fishhooks are some of the definitive tools that were usually found in the Stone Age historic time period and they were found in this particular site.

The species that occupied the cave at this particular site is Homo sapiens sapiens. This conclusion is based on the probable time period of Stone Age that used the tools and items found at the site such as figurines, fishhooks and eyed needles.

Works cited

Jurmain, Robert, Lynn Kilgore & Wenda Trevathan. Essentials of Physical Anthropology. Ohio:    Cengage Brain. 2010. Print.