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Montclair ANTH 103 - Interpreting Excavation Results

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David ManeiroInterpreting Excavation ResultsDavid ManeiroIntroduction to ArchaeologyJan VerstraeteInterpreting Excavation Results12/8/17After hours of studying the excavation Layer 2.4 and the field notes, and matching the figures found in excavation Layer 2.4 and the field notes I believe that I have figured out what excavation Layer 2.4 was when it was inhabited by people. The first thing I must prove is how I came to the conclusion that this site was once inhabited by humans. And this is most likely the easiest thing to prove. In several notes from the field notes it is stated that the archeologist found several bones however most of them are said to be from animals, such as pig and cattle, but some bones were thought to be human bones. Also, there are many burial sites around the excavation cites were skulls and other poorly preserved bones. Now although the field notes do not specifically state that these bones are human bones, I believe there is more evidence to accept this statement then to reject it, for example, “Bone in B2 appears to be largely disintegrated. Some indistinct traces visible in places. There are bangles to the left of the skull and to the east. More bronze rings to east also poorly preserved fragments”, the bones were buried with bangles and bronze rings. In many ancient cultures, it was customary to bury the dead with money, jewelry, or personal items as people though that they could use it as paymentto get into the afterlife as the Romans and Greek believed. Also, why would someone bury a pig with their favorite bangle. Proving that people lived in this small area that has been excavated was the easy part. The hard part was figuring out what exactly this place was when people were living here. At first, I thought that the site was simply just a burial site, human bones in graves with jewelry surrounding them it does. A burial ground does seem to fit very well. But, after looking through the field notes more closely and studying the radiocarbon sample closely I saw that the results of radiocarbon samples line up perfectly with the earliest accounts of farming. The bones could have been from humans and animals that lived right when pigs and cattle were starting to be domesticated, the field notes also state that the archaeologist found wheat within the excitationsite. The archaeologist also found burn marks, which confused them. “Why be a burial but lots of burning?”, was what one archaeologist questioned about 2:1 F1, but when you think of the site as a small farm the burned ground makes complete sense as these people did not have stoves back then so they had to make fires on the ground causing the ground beneath to be burnt. And assuming these people used fire pits it would mean that the same area would be getting burnt constantly.Now of course I can be completely wrong and way off the mark with my conclusion of the excavation Layer 2.4 being a farm but from the field notes and radiocarbon samples showme I truly believe that thousands and thousands of years ago this was a very early farm land. Cattle and pig bones being so physically close to human bones leads me to believe that there was an interaction between human and animal, an interaction deeper and more complex than that of predator and prey. The results of radiocarbon samples line up perfectly with the earliest accounts of farming, evidence of wheat points to a more agricultural based society than a society of hunters and gathers who never stayed in one spot, and constantly kept moving. And when thinking as the excavation site as a farm the evidence that confused the archaeologist the most, can be easily explained. Evidence of burns and charcoal can be evidence of people cooking using a fire pit contently setting a small area of the ground on fire. So, all and all for me the evidence points to this site as one day being a small farm land for early

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