March 13, 2012
Section 1: Short Answer
2. List and briefly explain the three goals of archaeology. How do they apply and differ from the earlier paradigms of archaeology? * The three goals of archaeology are the study of culture history, reconstruct past life ways, and understand cultural processes. The study of culture history is to piece together the history of how culture changes over time. To reconstruct past life ways is a complex process that involves a good deal of analysis which is to figure out as much you can about the people who lived at a particular site or civilization. To understand cultural processes entails trying to figure out how and why material culture has changed which happens in three ways invention (innovation), diffusion (spread), migration (moving to a different place). The earlier ways paradigms of archaeology apply and differ from the three goals of archaeology are the theoretical framework, assumptions, the explanations and causes, and point of view. There are currently two major paradigms in archaeology which are post-processual and processual archaeology paradigms, but the two paradigms spoken in class are antiquarianism and reconstruction. Antiquarianism is the old paradigm which archaeologists use to go after the expensive items. Reconstruction is the new paradigm which archaeologists consider every artifact as important in relation to everything else to solve the puzzle.
4. Why is Alaska so important archaeologically? What theory prevailed until recently and what is your opinion about it? Why is it so hard to do archaeology in Alaska? * Alaska is so important archaeologically because Alaska is connected to Beringia (aka the land bridge) which connected Asia to Alaska. Beringia is the portal that migrated people searching for mammoth to the United States this theory is proven by scientists. But, apparently there are older sites in South America, Pittsburg, etc. In the 1930s or 1940s scientists figured out how most of the world was populated, but nobody (scientists) could never really figure out how North and South American were populated. By the 1950s scientists looked at genealogy, botany, paleontology, language, and blood groups and what they pieced together was that people migrated because the seas had reseed twice (Beringia). Since there is so much evidence proving this theory I agree with it, but I, also, believe that some people may have migrated to these places boats in search of food. The reason why it is hard to do archaeology in Alaska because of permafrost, vastness, expensive, underwater, small campsites, and remote which is why it is very hard to find old sites.
10. What is trepanation? When did it start? What are the current theories about it? What are people doing it now? Why did they do it in the past? * Trepanation is the removal of a piece of bone from the skull. According to Merriam-Webster (2012), trepanation is also known as trephination; it is an act or instance of perforating the skull with a surgical instrument. Trepanation has been done since the Stone Age. Trepanation was popular to the old Neolithic in Europe in 3000 BC. The current theory of trepanation now is to increase one’s consciousness and relieve acute pressure on the brain. Trepanation is illegal in America, but some people travel to Mexico to do one. In the past people did trepanation to relieve intracranial pressure from diseases or trauma, and the belief that an evil spirit lives in the head and must be lead out.
11. What is pseudoscience? Cite at least three examples of pseudoscience in archaeology and what you think about these examples? Pseudoscience is in other words fake science. Pseudo means fake in Latin. It is theories, methods, and assumptions that are not scientific. Some examples of pseudoscience in archaeology are Bigfoot, the show Ancient Aliens, and Conspiracy Theories. The show on Animal Planet called “Finding Bigfoot” is pseudoscience...
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