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Archaeology 100-D200 Ancient Peoples and Places Archaeology and the Study of Prehistory… Session 1: MATTER, TIME & SPACE January 9 th 2012 Dr. Alvaro Higueras.

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Presentation on theme: "Archaeology 100-D200 Ancient Peoples and Places Archaeology and the Study of Prehistory… Session 1: MATTER, TIME & SPACE January 9 th 2012 Dr. Alvaro Higueras."— Presentation transcript:

1 Archaeology 100-D200 Ancient Peoples and Places Archaeology and the Study of Prehistory… Session 1: MATTER, TIME & SPACE January 9 th 2012 Dr. Alvaro Higueras Simon Fraser University, Spring 2012

2 Agenda of Session 1  MyAnthroKit  Class mechanics, evaluation & grading  The book & our trowels!  Some Dogmas  Archaeology and us, dangers affecting heritage;  Where in the world are our regions, our cradles of civilization? Maps!

3 Let’s start with MyAnthroKit The quiz module (worth 10% of your grade) integrated into the WebCT course site > Solve them at your own pace along the semester > You may have the book on your side > You can save your answers and submit later. > Beware: if you submit without having saved you may not get points for all the answers. Save them first.

4 > Each chapter has three quizzes: 1. Pre-test 2. Post-test 3. Chapter quiz. > Complete the first two as practice. > The grades you obtain for the Chapter Quiz will be considered for your grade. > A minimum of 75% of the overall tests should be completed > However, completion of the pre- & post- tests will be reviewed. > You must answer all chapter quizzes by April 10

5 Office Hours Dr. Alvaro Higueras. Monday 3:00-5:00 pm & Wednesday 2:00-4:00pm @ EDB 9613. E-mail: Teaching assistants: Sarah Oas ( Thursdays from 10:00 to 12:00 @ SWH 9084 aka the Material Culture Lab. Travis Freeland ( Tuesdays from 12:00 to 2:00 pm @ SWH 9084


7 Who teaches this course? This course is about the cultural process of human societies. We will deal briefly with contexts from 2 million to 35000 years ago, But mostly in a range period between 5000 years BC to 1500 AD Not a paleontologist… not about dinosaurs Nor a paleoanthropologist, albeit we deal with hominids, or early humans, as they showed early social & cultural traits.

8 Not a historian, because he/she studies societies with writing and deals with written evidence, documents, palimpsests, books… When a historian needs to dig anything (and not in a library) he/she needs to know about archaeology. We are archaeologists. In this field I study empires, or large-scale expansive societies… Sarah specializes in ethnobotany, and Travis specializes in geochemistry.

9 This is not an archaeologist

10 Our class dynamics Monday: one break of 10 m @ 1.25pm Wednesday: No break. Questions welcome at any time… Participation: highly encouraged… Provided you do not ask about… mysteries, lost cities, civilizations, aliens, catastrophes, collapses…

11 Undiscovered monuments Research in progress Decline of societies Environmental pressures Political corruption Economic mismanagement Complex societies… and not civilizations Why not?

12 Three important sources of information Lectures These will be available online Textbook With concepts and information complementing the lectures Web resources Archaeological methodology modules and some extra readings

13 What will you get in class? > Historical process & sequences > Case problems > Regional comparative approach > Understanding and sequential perspective, but no memorization of names or definitions, phases, years, or chronologies

14 What else will you get in class? > The Heritage component > What do we know / do about the remains of prehistory today? > Building cultural heritage : a social endeavour

15 What will you get from the book? > A bigger and more detailed picture > More cases studies > Those details will help you understand the bigger issues – social processes > Information for completing the required MyAnthroKit grade

16 A site for the course

17 The Syllabus Flash Modules on Methods and Techniques in Archaeology

18 Flash Modules on Methods and Techniques in Archaeology

19 I repeat This is not an archaeologist

20 The evaluations? > The exams in class will be multiple choice with an emphasis on understanding concepts and ideas, maps, graphs… > The online MyAnthroKit uses also multiple choice questions but emphasizes short answers. > In sum, the structure of the two batches of questions will be very different.

21 MyAnthroKit quizzes at you own pace: 10% Two quizzes (covering sections of the course; multiple-choice questions): 12% of the grade each. (Time 25-30 m). Feb 1 (weeks 1-3) & Mar 28 (weeks 7-10). Midterm exam (Mar 7; covering weeks 1 to 7; multiple-choice questions): 24% of the grade. (Time 45-50 m). Final exam (covering the full course; multiple- choice questions): 40% of the grade. (Time 1.45- 2.00 h). Scheduled on April 13 2012 @ 8.30am

22 Textbook: Chazan, Michael (2012) World Prehistory and Archaeology: Pathways through Time. Pearson Education. Canadian Edition. 2nd edition. Note: The use of the first Canadian Edition or the second US edition is possible. But it is responsibility of the students to make sure the issues studied have not been drastically updated. Extra tasks: suggested websites visits.

23 The book & our trowels! First reading: MZ, Chapter 1 & 2. Important info in the book The book Pictures Things Differently I Disagree with MZ

24 The spirit of the book Reading the textbook is your responsibility, preferably ahead of class In class we will make references to some but not all topics of the book We will emphasize what parts are more relevant in the big picture, and be clear what parts are included in the tests Information of the sessions is essential for complementing the book

25 Roman Forum, Rome


27 Largo Argentina, Rome

28 Roman Forum, Rome

29 Forma Urbis, ca. 200 AD. by Emperor Septimus Severus, Rome Forma Urbis, by Piranesi, Le antichità Romane, 1756

30 Sipán, Northern Peru © NGS

31 How is prehistory approached? Studying topics synchronically vs. diachronically 1. Linearly – through time > Egypt from 3000 BC to 300 AD 2. Comparatively – comparing regions > Egypt, Mexico & Peru @ time X 3. Topic based – comparing societies > the invention of agriculture in Egypt, Mexico & Peru D S


33 Victory of Samothrace, Louvre Museum, Paris

34 © Room of the Larco Herrera Museum, Peru

35 © Billy Hare 2009 Número 2 Multiple perspectives – multiple causes > Scientific research & causality (in a systematic fashion & reasoning) > Social issues : broad range of variation in material culture hence “peoples” in diverse situations > Analyze political organization from top to bottom or bottom up

36 Número 3 Today collectors & traffickers of cultural heritage: an important plague in our society

37 Aerial view of looters holes in the Lambayeque region, Northern Peru. Photo: Izumi Shimada

38 Número 3 Today collectors & traffickers of cultural heritage: an important scourge in our society > Assess with a historical perspective under the sign of times > 19 th & 20 th & 21 st centuries > The 1970 UNESCO Convention > Do these two groups include museums?

39 Controlled and documented excavation © Castillo 2005. San José de Moro Project. Looted artifact © Out of context! In context!

40 © Castillo 2005. San José de Moro Project. Tomb of the Priestess

41 Número 4 Museums are essential, be it at the site or monument or in a capital/town… or at a University They are more than repositories where we expect to find the archaeological material documented in the field… and artifacts obtained through other (shady) means What is the crucial difference between artifacts in context or out of context?

42 More on número 4 They are more than temples to aesthetics Rather, centres of interpretation Again, assess museums with a historical perspective under the sign of times The challenges & clashes of museums & archaeologists The future of museums? Do more with what they already have.

43 The museum & its roles In the 19th century till 1945 Looting, importing & amassing In the late 20 th century Buying, trafficking & classifying In the 21 st Century ? The challenge to live off its current holdings – Ban to trafficking

44 Some concepts on prehistory/archaeology developed in our first class: > Integrity of the physical context of evidence > Multi-causality (for processual explanations) On Museums and Heritage > Assess issues within their historical context > Be very critical of collecting and trafficking > Heritage is a social construct

45 New Hall of Multiversity at the MoA-UBC

46 Número 5 Aim to display cultural heritage in its original context British Museum, “Elgin Marbles”

47 The Parthenon, Athens, 470 BC.

48 Número 6 Behold the importance, usefulness and fragility of cultural heritage Archaeologists produce the evidence CH is a Social product Non marketable Public / Common property (in most countries of the world) Finite – exhausted / sustainable The problem of mass tourism & conservation

49 Herculaneum, buried in 79 AD.


51 Delusional writers are a problem, although popularization of the past is good… But a rather thick line between academic arguments and popular interests Improve communication

52 Heritage in the modern world  Stewardship of States & Communities  Custodians: those who are away & those in situ  Independent/localized heritage vs. world heritage  Immigration and building heritage: new, cultivating the old, mixing “The past is a foreign country” is Chazan’s title for Ch. 1

53 World Heritage sites : Imbalance Close-up on Europe & the Middle East

54 UNESCO & World Heritage sites 911 sites: 180 natural, 704 cultural & 27 mixed SGang Gwaay Buffalo Jump Machu Picchu Site Buffer zone

55 Cultural heritage as booty Its destruction as part of moral victory The Hague 1954 decay of heritage as a result of an exclusive identity Due to nationalisms (for example, the destruction of the Ottoman bridge in Mostar by Croat forces, 1993)

56 Florida Department of State Bureau of Archaeological Research.

57 “Do not let our heritage run away. “ Republic of colombia 2009.


59 A Clear Position Zero tolerance to collectors (Top drivers of the looting… not the looters) Close scrutiny of museums & their wish to keep acquiring stolen artifacts Archaeologists: no contact with traffickers, looters, collectors (SAA vs. AIA ethic codes) Archaeologists be sensitive, understanding to the will of native communities

60 6 regions with primary civilizations complex societies Mesopotamia Egypt Indus river region China Mesoamerica The Central Andes Rivers enriching these regions Euphrates & Tigris Nile basin Indus river basin Yellow & Yangtze rivers Lowlands & Highlands* ** Desert Coast & Highlands* ** * & Altiplano ** multiple rivers Where in the world are our regions, our cradles of complex societies? MAPS!

61 1763 (+/-120) copy of a 1418 Ming Dynasty (Not found). Example of Chinese maritime exploration. OLD NEW

62 M CA E C M P Mesoamerica Mexico Guatemala Belize Central Andes Peru Bolivia Irak Ye Ya I E T N A

63 The Mediterranean Basin, primary and secondary societies/states Indian Ocean Mediterranean Sea Black Sea Upper Egypt Anatolia Red Sea Persian Gulf Persia Zagros M. Taurus M. Sumer Akkad Lower Egypt Nile delta GREECE ROME & The Fertile crescent Spread of agricultural traditions by ca. 2500-3000 BC Secondary states 1300 BC 750 BC

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