Chapter 3 Terminology Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 3 Terminology Deck (31):

Archaeological Site

Any place where material evidence exists about the human past. Usually "site" refers to a concentration of such evidence.



A geologic process whereby fine sediment is blown away by the wind and larger items - including artifacts - are lowered onto a common surface and thus become recognizable sites.


Geographic Information System (GIS)

A computer program for storing retrieving, analyzing and displaying cartographic data.



Data that input to a GIS database using a common mapping reference - for example, the UTM grid - so that all data can be spatially analyzed.


Global Positioning System (GPS)

Hand-held devices that use triangulation from radio waves received from satellites to determine your current position of either the UTM grid or latitude and longitude.


Ground-penetrating system (GPR)

A remote sensing technique in which radar pulses directed into the ground reflect back to the surface when they strike features or interfaces within the ground, showing the presence and the depth of possible buried features.


Landscape Arhaeology

The study of ancient human modification of the environment



A first-sized, round, flat, hand-held stone used with a metate for grinding foods.



A large, flat stone used as a stationery surface upon which seeds, tubers, and nuts are ground with a mano.


Non-site Achaeology

Analysis of archaeological patterns manifested on a scale of kilometers or hectares, rather than of patterns within a single site.


Plow (άροτρο) zone

The upper portion of a soil profile that has been disturbed by repeated plowing or other agricultural activity.


Projectile (βλήμα) points

Arrowheads, dart points, or spare points.


Proton procession magnometer

A remote sensing technique that measures the strength of magnetism between the earth's magnetic core and a censor controlled by the archaeologist. Magnetic anomalies can indicate the presence of buried walls or features.


Random Sample

A sample drawn from a statical population such that every member of the population has an equal chance of being included in the sample.


Remote Sensing

The application of methods that employ some of electromagnetic energy to detect and measure characteristics of an archaeological target.


Sample Fraction

The percentage of the sample universe that is surveyed. Areas with a lot of variability in archaeological remains require larger sample fractions than do areas of low variability.


Sample Units

Survey units of a standard size and shape, determined by the research question and practical considerations, used to obtain the sample.


Sample Universe

The region that contains the statistical population and that will be sampled. Its size and shape are determined by the research question and practical considerations.


Seasonal Round

Hunter-gatherers' patterns of movement between different places on the landscape timed to the seasonal availability of food and other resources.


Settlement Pattern

The distribution of archaeological sites across a region.


Settlement System

The movements and activities reconstructed from a settlement pattern.



A sample survey method used in regions where rapid soil buildup obscures buried archaeological remains; it entails digging shallow, systematic pits across the survey unit.


Smithsonian Number

A unique catalog number given to sites; it consists of a number (the state's position alphabetically), a letter abbreviation of the country, systematic pits across the survey unit.


Soil resistivity survey

A remote sensing technique that monitors the electrical resistance of soils in a restricted volume near the surface of an archaeological site; changes in the amount of resistance registered by the resistivity meter can indicate buried walls or features.


Statistical Population

A set of count, measurements, or characteristics about which relevant inquiries are to be mad. Scientists use the term "statistical population" in a specialized way (quite different from "population" in the ordinary sense).


Statistical Sampling

The principles that underlie sampling strategies that provide accurate measures of a statistical population.


Stratified Random Sample

A survey universe divided into several sub-universes that are then sampled at potentially different sample fractions.


Systematic Regional Survey

A set of strategies for arriving at accurate descriptions of range of the archaeological material across a landscape.


Thermal Infrared (υπέρυθρες) Multispectral Scanner (TIMS)

A remote sensing technique that uses equipment mounted in aircraft or satellite to measure infrared thermal radiation given off by the ground. Sensitive to differences as little as 0.1 degree centigrade, it can locate subsurface structures by tracking how they affect surface thermal radiation.



Universal Transverse Mercator, a grid system whereby north and east coordinates provide a location anywhere in the world, precise to 1 meter.



A conical structure made of poles or logs laid against one another that served as fall and winter homes among the prehistoric Shoshone and Paiute.