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Definitions (114)

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living floor


the horizontal layer of an archaeological site that was once the surface occupied by a prehistoric group. It is identified both by the fact that it is hard-packed and also by the artifacts located on its surface.
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monocausal explanation


the attribution of one cause to the existence of a phenomenon.
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cultural resource management


the safeguarding of the archaeological heritage through the protection of sites and through salvage archaeology (rescue archaeology), generally within the framework of legislation designed to safeguard the past.
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frequency seriation


a relative dating method which relies principally on measuring changes in the proportional abundance, or frequency, observed among finds (e.g. counts of tool types, or of ceramic fabrics).
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physical environment


the complex of inanimate elements that surround an organism.
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World system


a term coined by the historian Wallerstein to designate an economic unit, articulated by trade networks extending far beyond the boundaries of individual political units (nation states), and linking them together in a larger functioning unit.
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A absolute dating


the determination of age with reference to a specific time scale, such as a fixed calendrical system; also referred to as chronometric dating.
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altithermal


a postulated climatic period characterized by warmer and/or drier conditions approximately 4,000-8,000 years ago.
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analogy


a process of reasoning whereby two entities that share some similarities are assumed to share many others.
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Anthropology


the study of humanity - our physical characteristics as animals, and our unique non-biological characteristics we call culture. The subject is generally broken down into three subdisciplines: biological (physical) anthropology, cultural (social) anthropology, and archaeology.
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