(Introduction) archaeobotany: See paleoethnobotany. archaeological culture: A constantly recurring assemblage of artifacts assumed to be representative of a particular set of behavioral activities carried out at a particular time and place (cf. (Chapter 1) archaeology: A subdiscipline of anthropology involving the study of the human past through its material remains.(Introduction) archaeology of cult: The study of the material indications of patterned actions undertaken in response to religious beliefs.
(Chapters 6 & 7) artifact: Any portable object used, modified, or made by humans; e.g. (Chapter 3) ascribed status: Social standing or prestige which is the result of inheritance or hereditary factors (cf. (Chapter 5) assemblage: A group of artifacts recurring together at a particular time and place, and representing the sum of human activities.
(Chapter 3) association: The co-occurrence of an artifact with other archaeological remains, usually in the same matrix.
(Chapter 2) atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS): A method of analyzingartifact composition similar to optical emission spectrometry (OES) in that it measures energy in the form of visible light waves.
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.
(Chapter 4) achieved status: Social standing and prestige reflecting the ability of an individual to acquire an established position in society as a result of individual accomplishments (cf. (Chapter 5) aerial reconnaissance: An important survey technique in the discovery and recording of archaeological sites (see also reconnaissance survey).
(Chapter 3) alleles: Different sequences of genetic material occupying the same locus on the DNA molecule; alleles of the same gene differ by mutation at one or more locations within the same length of DNA.
(Chapter 11) alloying: Technique involving the mixing of two or more metals to create a new material, e.g. (Chapter 8) ALS (Airborne Laser Scanning): See LIDAR.
amino-acid racemization: A method used in the dating of both human and animal bone.
Its special significance is that with a small sample (10g) it can be applied to material up to 100,000 years old, i.e. (Chapter 4) annealing: In copper and bronze metallurgy, this refers to the repeated process of heating and hammering the material to produce the desired shape.
(Chapter 8) 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.