Study "Archaeology / Paleontology" Essays 1-19

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Archaeology and Science Required Reading Essay

… Archaeology and Science

Required Reading:

The Idea of Indigenous Knowledge. Horsthemke Indigenous Knowledge and Archaeological Science. Green, Green, and Neves

Can the Sciences Help Us to Make Wise Ethical Judgments? Kurtz

What is Archaeology Today? Pyburn & Joyce

Do you… [read more]

Archaeology Archaeological Contributions to Society Essay

… Archaeology

Archaeological Contributions to Society

Archaeology is the study of human society, the way we live today and they way people lived in the past. It is the study and recovery of materials from the past, materials and other data that have been left behind by previous generations (Sabloff, 1-152). Artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes that are researched, studied and utilized to gain information about the time and people of the era ("Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia). In this paper I will discuss the contributions that archeology has made to contemporary and future societies and the role archaeology plays in my life. I will also discuss how the information provided by archaeology has contributed to measures that will help save our species.

Archaeology is a major part of our culture. Archaeology has provided us with materials for our museums, libraries and continues to influences many general processes of our daily lives. Materials found and interpreted by archaeology have allowed our generation to better understand our ancestors. It has provided us with information about our past and given us direction for our future. Archaeological findings have changed the way we look at history and changed our understanding of the past. Archaeology is an essential part of our society, mainly because it influences our culture and helps to shape our future.

Archaeology has made major contributions to contemporary society. Research in the field of archaeology has provided scientist, law makers, politicians and other decision makers with vital information about previous societies. It helps us understand the relationship between the past, the present and the future. Archaeology has given us information about how the environment has changed over time, and how these changes can affect us today and in the future.

Archaeological findings have helped Peruvian farmers changed their farming techniques; they have utilized the information learned to increase their crop yields and benefited as a society. This information is being used in Peru by city planners to reduce landfills and create a better society by increasing tourism and other types of development (Safloff, 2008). Archaeological findings about the ancient Mayans in Mexico have made significant contributions to that community. Findings have provided the community with information about the way Mayans lived, about their society, about the different classes of people that existed at the time. These significant archaeological findings have changed the conventional thinking about the history of Mexico, and have created new developments about the past, and changed the culture-focused archaeology of contemporary times.

Archaeological findings have provided us with information that will help us make predictions for the future. These findings have allowed scientist to make predictions about the climate variability in the… [read more]

Interpretation in Archaeology Essay

… Archaeology is one of the academic disciplines that have undergone major changes in its history. Like many disciplines, it is an evolution of paradigm, by means of which the study of the past is both facilitated and complicated. While some… [read more]

Civil War Archaeology Annotated Bibliography Annotated Bibliography

… Civil War Archaeology

Annotated Bibliography

Organizing a group of disparate resources involving Civil War archaeology is particularly challenging because of significant overlaps in goals and intent, and researchers' contribution are typically not amenable to being categorized in such a way… [read more]

Biblical Archaeology - Jericho Term Paper

… Garstang was evaluating the 1550 BCE dates that Sellin et al. had put forth for the destroyed layer at Tell-es-Sultan. Garstang noted the presence of Greek pottery shards (imported from Mycenae) throughout sites in Canaan in the thirteenth and fourteenth… [read more]

Archaeology Is a Social Science Term Paper

… The items that are found at the site, such as the nail, are being left in place so the archaeologists will know exactly where the earlier cabin was located. Although no one has lived there since the 1830s, the survey will give indications of early use such as a root cellar and other storage facilities. However, since remnants beyond the nails have been destroyed by the elements, the archaeologists will have to recreate the building the way they believe that it looked.

The site found in Cumbria is a much more important one due to the antiquity and the rarity. Also, to find the graves fully in tact is very unique. This is the first Viking burial ground found in Britain and, as one archaeologist said, the find of a lifetime. The site, with its varied array of artifacts, provided a wealth of information about the Vikings that came to the area about 1,000 years ago.

Because no village has been found near the archaeological dig (because of the land use over the millennium), it is unknown why these graves are buried here and the relationship among the individuals and between them and the surrounding area. It is also of interest that a woman was found, since history often relates information about the warrior Vikings coming into Britain, but not the women settling there as well.

Because this burial site contained such a number of artifacts in excellent condition, in addition to the bodies, the archaeologists will be able to more clearly recreate, rather than infer, the people living in that time. Neither of these sites are hoaxes, such as something mentioned in a gossip paper as the National Inquirer. They both involved serious archaeologists who are lending additional information to the history of… [read more]

Archaeological Sites in the U Research Paper

… Faught based this conclusion on the fact that the artifacts were not beat up and polished, but remained pristine sharp, along with there being a diversity of size and type. These findings were consistent with a rising sea level, not… [read more]

Wupataki National Monument Term Paper

… Wupatki Natl Monument former pueblo-turned national monument, Waputki represents the diversity of the indigenous inhabitants of the American Southwest. In conjunction with the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Forest Service, and independent research groups the Hopi and Navajo nations helped establish Waputki as one of the most significant archaeological sites in the United States. According to the Department of the Interior, Waputki is the "only known location in the Southwest where physical evidence from at least three archaeologically separate ancestral Puebloan cultures is found together in a number of archaeological sites."

Wupatki is actually the name of one of the pueblo areas of the archaeological site. The pueblo was inhabited during the tenth and eleventh centuries of the Common Era and was one of the largest pueblos in the region. Archaeologists have managed to preserve as much of the original pueblo structures as possible, making sure that visitors can appreciate its scope and significance. In fact, the sheer size of the national monument bears witness to the strategic importance of this pueblo, which was a central trading point. The national monument allows visitors to place Waputki in the perspective… [read more]

Human Evolution and Ecology Research Paper

… The Clovis hypothesis argues that early settler came from Siberia. The hypothesis reveals that men who came from Siberia were unable to return because of the glaciations blocking the area presently known as Canada. An archeologist such as James Adovasio believes that ancient people of Meadowcroft site in Pennsylvania are the earlier settler in the United States and they came from the Canadian ice-free corridor. Thus, there is genetic evidence that the early settler of the site came from Siberia based on the DNA comparison of the modern American and Siberian. However, the pre-Clovis evidence reveals that there is genetic diversity among the settler of the site. On the other hand, the linguistic evidence reveals that there are language diversities among Native Americans.

However, Goebel, et al. (2008) argues that the earlier settlers of the Meadowcroft site compose of people from Siberia, and South America. Goebel, et al. (2008) support the evidence of the previous authors that the settlers of the site colonize the place following the huge glaciations of North America preventing them from going back. However, a report by National Park Service (2013) shows that Paleo-Indians are the early settlers of the site, before the 10,000 B.P, the Paleo-Indian inhabitants live in the late glacial environment. These inhabitants adapted to the late glacial environment of the time. The Meadowcroft excavations reveal large varieties of extinct Megafauna that include mammoth, mastodon, symbos and caribou.

The significant of the site based on the human evolution and migration reveals that large number of American descendants came from Siberia and northern part of Alaska. However, Paleo-Indians are the early settler of the site revealing the remarkable findings of the earliest human occupation of the new world.

Fact and Findings

"Unquestionably, the human skeletal evidence across the Americas shows that the New World was populated by Homo sapiens." (Goebel, et al. 2008, p 1500). The data collected reveals that the age of Meadowcroft site dated back to 15,000 years ago; however, small group of forager occupied North America before 15,000 years ago. Typically, Meadowcroft represents the human present between the 15,000 and 16,500 years ago. Essentially, the stratified of the multicomponent of the site reveals 20,000 artifacts, 33 fire floors, 150 fire pits, 52 ash as well as charcoal lens, 1.4 million plant remains, and a million faunal remains.

The data collected about the Meadowcroft Rockshelter provide the proof to move away from the Clovis-first hypothesis because the people of the New World are from Alaska and Beringia from the ice-free corridor, which is about 12,500 years ago, and, the arrival of the first American dated back to 15,000 years ago. Nevertheless, there is still no concrete accepted hypothesis that provides evidence of how people arrive in the new world. Nevertheless, the data collected from the Meadowcroft Rockshelter site has established that there is a presence of pre-Clovis culture in the site.

Interpretation of the Findings

The findings reveal that the present day Americans originates from the Siberia based on the scientific, genetic… [read more]

King Tut's Curse the Mummy Essay

… The dates of potential exposure to unknown substances are February 17, 1923 -- when the third door was opened, February 3, 1926 -- the date the sarcophagus was opened, December 10, 1926 -- the date the coffin was opened, and November 11, 1926 -- the date the mummy was examined (Dowdy, 2013).

It has been proposed that one of the reasons that many of the people who entered King Tutankhamen's tomb fell ill was because they were exposed to dangerous molds. Ancient meat, vegetable and fruit funerary offerings, as well as preserved human bodies -- basically all organic materials -- have been known to house molds such as Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus, both of which have been known to cause allergic reactions that may lead to congestion and/or bleeding of the lungs (Dowdy, 2013). Additionally, bat guano found in tombs is also known to grow fungus, which can lead to the influenza-like respiratory disease histoplasmosis (Handwerk, 2005). Additionally, Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus have been known to grow on tomb walls (Handwerk, n.d.). Sarcophagi are also known to house formaldehyde, hydrogen sulfide, and ammonia gas, which can cause burning of the eyes and nose, pneumonia-like symptoms, and in the most severe cases, death (Handwerk, 2005). In 1999, German microbiologist Gotthard Kramer of the University of Leipzig analyzed 40 mummies and found potentially harmful mold spores on each (Krystek, 2012).

Another possible explanation of the numerous deaths shortly after the unsealing of King Tutankhamen's tomb is age. In 2002, Mark Nelson of the University of Melbourne in Australia randomly selected 44 Westerners in Egypt at the time the tomb was opened and of the 44, determined that 25 were potentially exposed to the "curse" (Krystek, 2012). Nelson determined that the average age of the sample group of people potentially exposed was 70-years-old and the survival rate for those individual's not exposed to the tomb was 75-years-old, which indicates that exposure to King Tutankhamen's tomb did not have a significant impact on the deaths of those that fell victim to the "mummy's curse" (Krystek, 2012). Furthermore, death from infections was relatively high during this time due to the lack of antibiotics (Krystek, 2012). In fact, Lord Carnarvon's death cannot be solely attributed to the mosquito bite as he is known to have pre-existing health issues prior to the excavation of King Tutankhamen's tomb.

While it is romantic to associate these deaths with a curse, no one will ever know what contributed to the numerous deaths of those associated with King Tutankhamen's tomb, however, it is very possible that age, and molds such as Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Pseudomonas, and Staphylococcus, had a significant negative impact on those individuals that entered the tomb and who handled the mummy's body. Since there have not been any other tombs found as intact as King Tutankhamen's, it is difficult to determine to what degree these potential molds affected those present and how many mold spores were inhaled at the time the tomb was unsealed. Surprisingly, Howard Carter,… [read more]

Archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon Biography Research Paper

… Albans), which was about 20 miles north of London. Working there each summer during the years of 1930 and 1935, Kathleen was able to learn from Mortimer Wheeler who was known as being the discipline of meticulously organized and recorded… [read more]

Vertebrate Zoology Evolution How Birds Evolved From Their Dinosaur Ancestors Research Proposal

… Vertebrate Zoology - Evolution: How birds evolved from their dinosaur ancestors

Evolutionary studies, particularly the evolution of birds, have always evoked tremendous curiosity and fascination amongst the scientific community as well as the general public. The idea that birds actually… [read more]

Analyzing Relationship Between Animism in Social and Ecological Processes Research Paper

… ¶ … Animism in Social and Ecological Processes

Edward Tylor is credited for using the term "animism" for the first time, in his 1871 foundational research on Primitive Culture, when describing the first phase of religious thought development. This is… [read more]

How Subculture Results in Social Movement or Social Activism Essay

… Riot Grrrl: Subculture as Social Activism

Subculture is a term that is used to refer to a small cultural group within a larger culture though it's characterized by differing beliefs or interests from larger culture. Subcultures are usually considered as… [read more]

Influences for Dancers & Choreographers Essay

… ¶ … money quote" right away. Her precise words are "it is good anthropology to think of ballet as a form of ethnic dance" (Dils & Albright, 2001). One of the main facets of Kealiinohomoku's argument is stated when she says "anthropologists mean to convey the idea that all forms of dance reflect the cultural traditions within which they developed" (Dils & Albright, 2001, p. 33). There are multiple facets and layers to these cultural manifestations and trends including terms like ethnologic, primitive and folk dance. Even so, the author asserts that there is far from a consensus when it comes to ballet as an ethnic form of dance as many Western-oriented anthropologists insist that ballet is not necessarily or always ethnic. To buttress her point, she asserts that "African Dance" does not exist as it assumes that all African dance derives from the same culture and beliefs. This is simply not true as there is Hausa dancers, Dahomean dancers and so forth. Much the same delineation occurs within the Indian cultures of the word as Hopis and Iroquois, just to name two, are going to be different even though they are both Indians (Dils & Albright, 2001).

As far as what an "ethnic dance form" would be, that would be a form of dance that is influenced in whole or in part by the ethnicity, culture and history of the person who is doing the dancing and/or that created the routine for someone else to do. What the author is not a fan of is when people use terms that are too generic or vague such as "folk dancing." Indeed, she states "folk dance is sort of a catch-all term" (Dils & Albright, p. 39). The typical "tiny" body forms of the ballet dancers, as mentioned on page 40, is yet another examples (Dils & Albright, 2001).

Question Two

As for how these different cultures end up with different trends and forms of dance, this is not hard to see earlier and the author of… [read more]

Scavengering of Peking Man Term Paper

… Anthropology

Scavenging the Peking Man

Neal Boaz and Russell Ciochon's "Scavenging of Peking Man" examines developments in our understanding of the Peking Man and, more interestingly, how easy it can be to misinterpret archaeological evidence. Boaz and Ciochon document the history of our knowledge about Peking Man as it has bee derived from the Peking Man site at Zhoukoudian in China. Excavations that lasted from 1921 until 1982 unearthed 45 specimens of Homo erectus pekinsensis as well as thousands of animal bones in the original cave at the site. Initial, and persistent, analysis of the remains suggested that Peking Man had mastered fire and practiced cannibalism. But the application of a new field of study -- taphonomy, the study of how animal and plant remains can become modified after death -- demonstrated that these conclusions were incorrect. Instead, the most likely explanation is that the cave site was predominantly occupied by a species of giant hyena that… [read more]

Dinosaurs Became Extinct Term Paper

… )

It is also believed that under a thick dust cloud it would become very cold without any penetrating sunlight, which could have even resulted in an ice age, where a large portion of the water on earth would have been frozen and the atmosphere changed drastically. Therefore, it is also possible that all of the dinosaurs could have perished due to an ice age or similar atmospheric change. Another theory is that the dinosaurs became extinct when the earth gradually changed atmospheric conditions. If the earth had changed from being extremely warm and humid to being colder and less wet, then the dinosaurs may not have been able to adapt to the new earth climate and therefore died out. Gradual changes in the climate or many other factors may also have brought serious disease to the dinosaurs. If a plague-like illness circulated among the dinosaurs, then this could be another explanation for their disappearance because they would have had no medical knowledge such as humans posses today with which… [read more]

Dinosaurs Are a Popular Topic Essay

… However, I demanded no memorization of the names except for a few basic ones like Tyrannosaurus and Pterodactyl. The former I referred to as "T-Rex" for ease. I designed a simple and informal quiz for the end of the unit to ascertain information retention. The quiz was in pencil-and-paper form but also used some colored pencils or markers. I asked students to identify two different dinosaurs (Tyrannosaurus Rex and Pterodactyl) and asked students to color their pictures. I also requested they list some possible sources of foods for the creatures. They were to draw lines matching names with habitat and eating habits.

The CD ROM used provided some additional teaching material. With strong graphics, the multimedia presentation introduced students to a wide variety of dinosaurs in addition to the ones we went over from the print material. The CD also offered some sound effects, which the students mimicked throughout the remainder of the class. Based on the results of the quiz I designed, almost all the students remembered basic information about the dinosaurs, the potential causes for their extinction, their habitat, and the approximate dates of their life on earth. [read more]

Dinosaur Extinction: Currents Theories Term Paper

… While most scientists do not support the above alternate theories, their backers claim to have evidence to prove their validity, much the same way as the backers of the two main theories do (What Killed the Dinosaurs, 1995).

The debate over exactly how the dinosaurs became extinct is one that is likely to remain heated in the scientific community for some time. Further, it can neither be proved nor disproved that the dinosaurs became extinct due to the events that occurred around the K-T boundary or if they were merely weakened by them. Although the popular opinion tends to lean toward the sudden impact theory, without some type of as yet undiscovered evidence, a consensus among the scientific community as to the exact cause of the dinosaur extinction is unlikely in the near future.


Archibald, J.D. (1996). Dinosaur Extinction and the End of an Era: What the Fossils Say. New York: Columbia University Press.

Blanchard, D.L. (1999). Dinosaur Extinction. Online. Morrison Natural History Museum. Available February 8, 2002:

Eldredge, N. (Ed.). (1987). The Natural History Reader in Evolution. New York: Columbia University Press.

Raup, D. & Sepkoski, J.J. (1986). Periodic Extinction of Families and Genera. Science… [read more]

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