Download PDF by Paul Bahn: Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short

By Paul Bahn

ISBN-10: 0192853791

ISBN-13: 9780192853790

This pleasing very brief advent displays the long-lasting approval for archaeology-a topic which appeals as a hobby, occupation, and educational self-discipline, encompasses the entire globe, and surveys 2.5 million years. From deserts to jungles, from deep caves to mountain tops, from pebble instruments to satellite tv for pc photos, from excavation to summary concept, archaeology interacts with approximately another self-discipline in its makes an attempt to reconstruct the prior.

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Additional resources for Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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As mentioned above, there may well be lunar notations from the last Ice Age (the phases of the moon would certainly have been the principal way that ancient peoples could measure the passage of time), but the subject really comes into its own in later prehistory with the phenomenon of monuments aligned on significant astronomical events such as the rising of the midwinter or midsummer sun. From the prehistoric megalithic monuments of western Europe to major buildings in the Central and South American civilizations, there are definite alignments which demonstrate a profound knowledge of, and importance attached to, the movements of the heavens.

None of this has stood up to scrutiny. First, every continent now has ‘art’ of equal antiquity, with Australia having the world’s oldest dated rock engravings (more than 40,000 years, if the Archaeology AMS dates are correct); and, even more important, it is now clear that ‘art’ occurs well before modern humans. This was already known for decades, since a Neanderthal burial from south-west France was found covered by a stone slab with a series of little ‘cupmarks’ (small round hollows) carefully arranged on it.

And the same applies to objects found within these layers unless there has been some disturbance, for example by burrowing animals or grave-digging, rubbish pits or erosion and redeposition. 17 There are ways of finding out if the bones in a layer are of the same age by chemical dating. Over time, a buried bone’s nitrogen content declines, and it gradually absorbs fluorine and uranium. So measuring these elements will indicate if a group of bones are contemporaneous or of different periods. This was the method used in the early 1950s to expose the Piltdown fraud – a supposed ‘missing link’ between apes and humans ‘found’ in Sussex in 1912, but proved to be a complete hoax.

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Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Paul Bahn


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