Science topics: AnthropologyArchaeologyPrehistoric Archaeology
Prehistoric Archaeology - Science topic
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Questions related to Prehistoric Archaeology
I am trying to research the history/archaeology of the late Pazyryk and the period when the Xiongnu invaded Altai.
Considering that some people are gifted with handling animals (e.g. horse whisperers), could paleoindians or other Pleistocene peoples have gained the confidence of woolly mammoths or mastodons to use them as transportation and other tasks, the way that Asian elephants are used today?
Fewer resources would be necessary for a human to travel long distances by riding on the back of a woolly mammoth or paleocamel, as the megafauna could graze and get energy. People may also have traveled by boat during late Pleistocene times (the kelp highway along PNW).
How could we test such a hypothesis? Cave art showing a rider on the back of one of the megafauna? A bridle and/or bit? A talisman worn by a camel is known to have been crafted from a meteorite(1), and so talismans or decorations might have adorned the hypothesized woolly steed. Metal was not a known technology during stone tool usage, as far as we know, though.
Joanne P. Ballard
What kind of evidence can indicate pottery in prehistory was used for cooking?
I am interested in the process of transmitting technological knowledge from one generation to another in hunter-gatherer societies. What bibliographic references related to this topic do you recommend?
I am interested in possible representations of dance in European post-Palaeolithic rock art.
Hello everyone, so I'm trying to create a least cost-benefit map and factors for least cost-benefit are very varied like slope, elevations, region vegetations and etc. I must say I'm very confused between these varied factors and I just want to make sure that I choose the correct and suitable factor in my map. although I want to create several maps of least cost-benefit but i want to ask you: what is the best factor for least cost-benefit for reaching a site to another in a region like southeast Iran?
if you are unfamiliar with the region and topography of southeast Iran, I must say that it's just like the most regions in Baluchistan of Pakistan with low hills in east of the region and high mountains in west. the vegetations of regions is also similar.
so if anyone could help me, i will be so grateful. thank you.
I raise this as a point of discussion.
Two days ago I heard a news story about newly found ca. 6,000 year old hillfort at Khirbet Abu al-Husayn in the Jordan desert. The remarkable stonework at Goblekli Tepe are 9,000 years old. While in Malta there are sophisticated ruins dating back to 4,000 BC. The old tradition of civilisation arising in Mesopotamia and Egypt is looking fragile.
Is anyone working on consolidating this new archaeological evidence to redraw the time line of human history?
And what other recent archaeological finds should be added to this picture?
I'm looking for information on prehistoric hominid tools. If you happen to have any photographs to compare with my collections, I would really appreciate it!
I have begun reading and thinking deeply on this subject. The works of Esther Jacobsen Tepfer have caused me to rethink some of my studies within eastern California and the Coso Region and to revisit my reflections on prehistoric forager ideology as illustrated in the Coso Range rock drawings.
Could there be an ancient expression of cultic and generative themed graphics? Are they gendered and more feminine in nature than the more recent representations?
At the pre historic world ,there were many of snails have been found with shell hole. Some of are said it was part of the paleo diet of pre historic man.
but as i know there are many snails species exhibtd the this hole pattern.
These may be natural elongated pebbles (or even dense bone) but with a biconical piercing near one end. The other end may be tapered. I hope to get leads on which sites may have these.
I'm looking for literature about well excavated tipi rings or other ephemeral dwellings of North American Indians or of Siberian people, preferentially with individually recorded finds.
I'm researching stone enclosures and their involvement in the Native American vision quest and other rituals. I'm finding a good amount of information on the Plains culture, but I'd like to know if similar practices occurred in the Southwest, specifically Texas. Can anyone point me in the direction of some literature? Thank you!
I am working in late iron age metallurgy in Balearic Islands, and we have found smalls double axes in funerary context with similar isotopics values than copper ores from crete... But I don't know any especific paralel for these chronologies.
Could anybody suggest any information or references on the activity related to iron smelting located on the island of the lake or river? From any period and country?
Last year we had small excavation with 10 m2 area uncovered on the lake island site, which is small 200x40 m glacial hillock with clayed till covered by sand and sandy loam. App.150 kg of iron slag and pieces of clay furnace (-es) was found. The material concentrated on the highest spot of the hillock at 2-3 m above the lake level and chosen area for excavation was the most anomalous spot according to magnetic susceptibility data. The material was mixed with clear sandy loam with no observable stratigraphic layers. The thickness of homogenous sandy loam layer varied, the clay bottom in the trench was reached at the depth of 0.9 m, and the contour of this bottom resembled the zone as if mining activity might has been performed for extracting clay material for the furnace built nearby. However, no intact furnaces or other structures of manufacturing were found as well as no traces of charcoal. The iron slag itself is analogous to those sites dated to the Roman Period in the East Baltic region.
Currently available information suggests the site to be the place not for iron smelting but rather the place for burying the debris of iron manufacturing?!
I would appreciate any comments and remarks on this situation.
I´m looking for Middle Palaeolithic sites (either residence, symbolic or other activity-related) which have been found in the deep cave interior, or at least in zones lacking natural light, and thus far away from the entrance. An outstanding example of this would be the stalagmite structures of Bruniquel cave, but other not so deep and not so spectacular sites are welcome.
Many thanks in advance.
It was found in a Migration period (ca 500 AD) burial in Lithuania. The body is made of iron and decorated with three lead-tin alloy discs (see image). It seems to me too thick to be a pin. No doubt this is an import. I would be grateful for any references or ideas about its origin, analogies, or function.
Recent excavations prove that hominids indeed did exist in the indian subcontinent, more in the southern peninsula. Even Ramayana, the epic, speaks of them . When did they disappear ? What was their genus/species name ? Why and how did they disappear ? In that case, are we in part hominids apart from being an aryan dravidian mix at times due to the course of time?
Historiographical analyses based on epistemologial, externalist and contextual approaches published later than 2012 would be very much appreciated. Focus of research could be also Archaeology or Prehistory as a whole, but the Palaeolithic field should be addressed in detail.
Many thanks in advance.
Some plant species living in particularly strong environmental stress show different level of 13C absorption as opposed to individuals from the same species living in normal conditions. May this have a reflection also on 14C content even beyond standard laboratory isotopic fractionation correction?
In reviewing prehistoric habitation huts across different cultural and cronological area, it seems that habitations should be featured by the presence of hearths. I was wondering if is there any evidence of habitations in which such installation is not present, and what cultural/climatic/geographic determinant could account for the absence of hearths in habitations.
Thank you in advance for any insight into the issue.
I was wondering if anyone has ever come across ceramic disks from prehistoric contexts, huts in particular. By ceramic disks I mean sherds from pots' wall, reworked in such a way to eventually look like a disk (few cms in diameter).
In particular, I am interested in knowing if there is any ethnographic comparison that could shed light on the possible function, or if there is any evidence hinting at their use in the context of pottery production (e.g., use as pottery surface polishers).
Thanks for any insight.
We found, during one excavation in a Dolmen, in Central Portugal, a structure composed with small subquadrangular
quartzite stones founded in a layer that is below all monument. This structure are also conneted with the orientation planning observed.
You can see more in https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alexandra_Figueiredo, in the articale The planning and orientation of Dolmen I of Rego da Murta (Alvaiázere, Portugal)
I could't find until know other example.
For my non-metric trait study on humans, I am in need of learning the basic homology between humerus and femur. What kind of evolutionary anatomical differences or similarities exist between the two very bones? Could you recommend any basic literature on this topic? Thank you very much in advance.
Hello. I have found in literature that in some past and modern settlements habitation rooms were often coupled by one or more rooms that are smaller in size (i.e., floor area) and are used for various "utilitarian" tasks (e.g., storing, processing, tools maintenance). During my review of archaeological and ethnographic literature, I have found for instance that this type of activities organization occurs in ancient US pueblos (e.g., Broken K, Turkey Creek Pueblo) as well as in some modern groups such as the Fulani in Africa.
I was wondering if anyone wants to provide feedback on the above, widening the scenario of possible parallels. Indication of case studies and bibliographical references are welcome.
Appearance of ceramics:
Southeastern United States ca. 5000 BP
Northern South America ca. 6950 BP
Southeast Asia ca. 7950 BP
Mediterranean Europe ca. 8350 BP
It is generally accepted that a more sedentary lifestyle allowed more free time. At first pottery vessels were plain, but rapidly decorations came into being. These decorations were simple punctations, combing, and impressions (stamped with everyday objects). Soon came more complex designs involving more than one decorating instrument.
Why spend time and energy decorating an object that, during that time period, had a very short lifespan? Ownership/Signature? Aesthetics? Art?
The first signs of art date from more than 30.000 years ago (e.g. cave art) whereas the first signs of writing (e.g. Tamil) appeared let say ca. 5000 years ago?
Any idea why artistic humans waited such a long period before they decided to start writing?
It was found in Morgado Superior Cave, in the Nabão valley (Central Portugal).
In this Cave we have a 195 MNI, and some artefacts, This is one of them. This place has akready 4 AMS dates from Chalcolithic.
I woul appreciate some help.
Tanks a lot Best Wishes
this is the SEM photomicrograph of neolithic pottery. How does explain this image?
We've found a chrysoprase bead in a tumulus grave in Kuwait. The burial is multiple and multi-phase but most of the equipment suggest dating for Neolithic. This bead (biconical, with chamfered perforation) does not look like typical Neolithic ornament from the Gulf region. I have not found any analogy until now, neither from Neolithic nor from the later periods.
There was an article that argued for a very short period from 12800 to 13500 then another saying it had to at least be 1,000 years.
Can either of these chronological frameworks be considered reasonable given the enormous breadth of the Clovis expression in North America?
Negative answers will also be appreciated. See Anton and Snodgrass 2012, Wrangham 1999, Ungar 2006, Bunn 2007, Stanford 2001
How much weight should be placed on ethnographic analogy?
Direct interpretation of subject matter?
Cross cultural studies of rock art?
Do you believe in portable XRF dating of desert varnish?
Do you think that associated dates for single component sites spatially associated with the rock art are reasonable?
What techniques have you used?
How have you attempted to obtain chronological controls?
Does anybody know Lithoglyphus pygmaeus specimens (or ornaments manufactured from this gastropod) discovered in prehistoric sites?
Does anyone have any info on the excavations that took place in Les Eyzies, France in the 19th and 20th century. Specifically looking for info on the lithics
This fossil Himenofitales fern was collected several years ago by R. Rojas and myself from a Jurassic pre mid-Oxfordian exposure of the San Cayetano Formation in western Cuba. Any suggestion as to species or genera or distribution in time and space?
I would be very grateful for any metric data (dimensions) of these artefacts for my master thesis.
Donald E. Brown's book, "Human Universals", explores and describes physical and behavioral characteristics that can be considered universal among all cultures, all people. I have not been able to get my hands on a copy of that work. Can someone who has read the book tell me if Brown employed a systematic cross-cultural analysis? Or did he employed a different methodology? If so, what was the procedure he used to determine which traits are ubiquitous in human societies? Are his findings robust and reliable? Or are they based on a somewhat haphazard survey of regionally isolated studies?
I would be interested in getting cross-cultural data about hunter-gatherer/foraging societies in relation to:
-pregnancy success (natural or induced abortions through pregnancy)
-mortality at birth (of both women and babies)
-mortality rate of newborns
Some colleagues and I have been working on a prehistoric tool made of a long bone diaphysis about to be published. So far we have found other published cases worldwide, but references are never are too much. Any suggestion will be much appreciated! Thanks.
I’m studying a large assemblage of wooden shaft fragments from a prehistoric site in Alaska and would like to know from which type of tool/weapon they came from if possible. I was wondering if similar studies have been done before (from any period and geographical area).
Besides Turner's 1980's work on the dental morphology of archaeological series, I've found very little: Huffman's, Bartolomucci (LBG)'s and Neves & Powell's work. Does anyone know of anything else? Thanks
Could anyone suggest bibliographic references for paleopathology of pre colonial (amerindian) populations in the amazonian region?
We have found few pollen grains of buckwheat in deposits containing early iron age pottery fragments. Redeposition or vertical movement of pollen is probable but there is no clear proof so we couldn't omit any alternative.
I currently know of two - one (a snake) at Casas Grandes (Paquime) in Chichihuah and the other in the Municipio de Tacuichamona, in Sinaloa, (Weigand, personal communication 2010). However, I am hereby canvassing the archaeological community to learn of any others. Any and all information will be duly acknowledged in publication. Many thanks!!
Brown (2000) has promoted fractal analysis as a means of examining size frequency as a means of assessing lithic debitage and inferring reduction mode. The analysis plots the natural log transformation of flake size against the cumulative frequency log creating a trend line that can be compared to experimentally produced assemblages. Other than the common technical shortcomings encountered by all aggregate methods of flake analysis (such as mixed assemblages), what are some of the theoretical critques of the procedure?
I'm looking for evidence for bone projectile points in Neolithic pre-pottery and pottery of the Near East. Can anybody point out relevant literature?
Has anyone tried converting data obtained with a Bruker Tracer III-V+ pXRF to be comparable to data obtained with the new Tracer III-SD? I'm working on obsidian and I have tried both compressing and expanding the spectrum but the numbers do not even come close to being comparable.
I'm trying to build a Bayesian model for a coastal dune stratigraphy. The oldest date is taken from marine beach barrier sediments, while the other, more recent, dates are taken from gyttja layers (associated with archaeological remains) embedded within dune sediments
This zoomorphic figurine - a lion - alabaster made, is a fortuitous find on a chalcolithic tell settlement (Gumelnita, ca. 4000 BC) in Teleorman county, southern Romania. This is a quite unusual representation for this period.
I have found papers on the use of GMM on pinniped and phocidae skulls but nothing so far on long-bones, vertebrae or pelvis.
The biscuit baking of clay is to avoid damage during the baking process I understand. Letting clay dry before a first low temp burning is part of this. I also understand that w/o further examination from just plain sight it is impossible to state whether a piece of clay has been burned once or twice, the highest temperature will leave ist mark and overshadow previous baking. Is that correct? If so, how do we know the Pylos tablets were only air dried and not (half) baked?
Right now i only found some mentions of hittite iron, products, and biblical mentions of the iron using hittites. So no real archaeological evidence for now.
Everything could help like evidence for products, ovens, productionplaces and traces of ressource exploitation.
I am studying an archaeological site (ca 4600-4200 cal BC) where two, up to 2m deep pits were discovered, which are broader towards the bottom and narrower at the level from which they were dug.
If I remember correctly from some lectures and papers, these are usually interpreted as storage pits. One of the pit from our site (see attached file) had a burnt layer (or several layers) 10cm thick with a lot of charcoal at the bottom. The whole pit was subsequently filled with dirt containing pottery. The fill can be separated into an upper and lower layer (one 70, other 90cm deep), which are separated by a 20-30cm thick layer containing no pottery. This is quite an interesting deposition and would require a lot of attention.
What is the usual interpretation of pits of such shape? Were they primarily storage pits, used later for other activities such as for firing, disposing of refuse etc? Are there any good comparisons in the European Neolithic and Eneolithic? I am interested in any literature dealing with these pits specifically, but also any good references for how to deal with the deposits in these pits. Any ideas?
The attached flat little bones were found in archaeological context (500 AD, central coast of Chile). Regular shape, 5 mm average.
I am looking for graves for which the season of burial is known. I am particularly interested in Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Age Europe, but will follow up any hints! Season should be documented by botanical remains, pollen, or other scientific evidence.
We've obtained a few radiocarbon dates from EIA Lower Danube Area and we need others to compare (excluding the older ones from Kastanas, Troy, Assiros, Durankulak, Odaia, Siret, Popesti, Mahala, Stepnoj, Lapus, Nemetbanya, Borcs and Gomolava). Any suggestions?
In the summer of 2014, we discovered a new Eneolithic cemetery at Sultana (Romania), and near one of the skeletons we identified a fragment of red ocher bead.
Does anybody know other similar artefacts from prehistory or other time periods?
Thanks in advance.
Dear all, I'm very interested in potash glass which was discovered in ancient Southern, South and East Asia. The potash glass can be divided into different types based on the concentrations of the trace elements. Basically, the potassium of the potash glass may obtain from mineral deposits or from plant ashes, but how to distinguish them by major and minor elements. I read some articles which judge the type of the potash glass directly without showing related evidences. I have ever manufactured some potash glass/glaze by using plant ash, but I failed. So I really hope the kind-hearted scholars could give me some hints. Thank you very much
The fossil site catalog for Italy is a searchable database on the web (http://web.uniba.it/progettiricerca/catalogorestifossili/database/database_en/search_en.html). Is anyone aware of any others? There is the catalog of fossil hominids text from the 70's and some country specific supplements were published in the early 90's, but finding any searchable online databases would be much quicker than using the books.
This is to investigate ancient human occupation of an area of paramo Central America over 3000m. It seeks to understand the social and cultural environmental adaptation to this area or in contrast to no temporary occupation of ancient society in pre-Columbian times.
I'm undertaking a review of dogs & wolves in Prehistoric Britain for my undergraduate dissertation, I'm finding it difficult to find papers where the more recent excavations of these animals have been found. I know of a few Neolithic examples and one Bronze Age one, but there must be more than that.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.
The earliest relics of cupellation process have so far been found from Iran, Turkey, and Syria. But how do we know, if the process was performed for extraction of gold and/or silver from the ore?
I already know that some works have already been done on Arisman cupellation relics by Perncka et al. 2011.
I would be grateful for more references or clues.
My personal view, hominids could use bones, horns, sticks and so on as tools. Just as these attached in the image.
- 279.90 KBAIMG_1509.jpg
- 319.97 KBAIMG_1510.jpg
- 295.58 KBa201110021272.jpg
- 327 KBSZ-7A.jpg
- 848.86 KBa201110021341 copy.jpg
- 154.85 KBSD-87.jpg
I want to study specific protein sequences to better understand their functional properties. I think that such information from this group of animals may help in this understanding.
I am looking for a relevant archaeological synthesis on the Neolithic periods of Corsica, South France, Italy and Sicily, possibly with data on lithic material consumption.
I'm doing research on cosmetics and body painting during the pre historic time (like 100,000 years ago up to 5,000 years ago). I've found some information about using red ochre and decorative shells and related speculation; but apparently I need more data; especially based on cave art or something like that.