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Beginner's guide to archaeology | Science | The Guardian

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Paperback , Second Edition , pages. Published September 9th by Routledge first published January 25th More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews.

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Archaeology: The Basics

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Oct 24, Sheri Fresonke Harper rated it really liked it Shelves: science. Good easy to read volume covering the basics of archaeology. Included are sections about objects, people, how time is measured, layout of digs, etc. Doreen rated it really liked it Mar 29, Archaeologist71 rated it really liked it Oct 07, Courtney rated it really liked it Sep 11, Shawn rated it really liked it Jan 11, Cat Kashkin rated it liked it Jul 09, John Sims-jones rated it liked it Feb 27, Fernanda Meneses rated it it was amazing Sep 05, Caitlin rated it liked it Jan 10, Emma Reynolds rated it liked it Jan 13, Rinn rated it liked it Aug 02, Verena rated it really liked it May 03, Crystal Safadi rated it really liked it Nov 28, Rodrigo Conesa rated it really liked it Oct 21, The Southwest encompasses a broad area including Arizona, New Mexico, southern Colorado, southern Utah, and far western Texas, as well as the northwest Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora.

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The precontact Southwest was an extremely diverse cultural landscape inhabited by groups who probably spoke many different languages and saw themselves as distinct peoples. They made a living through hunting, collecting wild plants, and farming corn, beans, squash, and a variety of other crops.

Archaeology The Basics

In the absence of historical records, archaeologists must rely on the buildings and belongings people left behind to help us understand those people and their complex lives. When archaeologists see similarities through time and across space in the houses in which people lived, the objects they made and used, their artistic expressions, and the way they made their living, we can sometimes define what we call archaeological cultures.


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Archaeological culture areas represent geographic zones where we think people were living in generally similar ways and across which people were connected through a shared history of interaction. Therefore, we cannot assume that the archaeological cultures necessarily relate to any social divisions that people in the past would have recognized. In other words, an archaeological culture is not the same as what we might consider a culture today—a group marked by a shared language, lifeway, and often a shared historical origin.

Although archaeologists love to draw circles on maps almost as much as politicians do, it is often difficult to define clear-cut boundaries between archaeological cultural areas.