Advances in Archaeological Practice
EISSN : 2326-3768
Published by: Cambridge University Press (CUP) (10.1017)
Total articles ≅ 323
Latest articles in this journal
Published: 15 October 2021
Advances in Archaeological Practice pp 1-8; https://doi.org/10.1017/aap.2021.24
This article shows how to record current events from an archaeological perspective. With a case study from the COVID-19 pandemic in Norway, we provide accessible tools to document broad spatial and behavioral patterns through material culture as they emerge. Stressing the importance of ethical engagement with contemporary subjects, we adapt archaeological field methods—including geolocation, photography, and three-dimensional modeling—to analyze the changing relationships between materiality and human sociality through the crisis. Integrating data from four contributors, we suggest that this workflow may engage broader publics as anthropological data collectors to describe unexpected social phenomena. Contemporary archaeological perspectives, deployed in rapid response, provide alternative readings on the development of current events. In the presented case, we suggest that local ways of coping with the pandemic may be overshadowed by the materiality of large-scale corporate and state response.
Published: 15 October 2021
Advances in Archaeological Practice pp 1-16; https://doi.org/10.1017/aap.2021.26
Often understudied by archaeologists, ground stone tools (GST) were ubiquitous in the ancient Maya world. Their applications ranged from household tools to ceremonial equipment and beyond. Little attention has been focused on chemically sourcing the raw stone material used in GST production, largely because these tools were fashioned out of igneous or sedimentary rock, which can present characterization challenges. And, although portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) has been applied widely to source obsidian, the utility of pXRF for geochemically sourcing other kinds of stone remains underexplored. We present a small-scale application of pXRF for determining granite provenance within a section of the Middle Belize Valley in Belize, Central America. Belize is an ideal location to test chemical sourcing studies of granite because there are only three tightly restricted and chemically distinct sources of granite in the country, from which the overwhelming majority of granite for ancient tool production derived. The method described here demonstrates that successful and accurate geological characterizations can be made on granite GST. This cutting-edge sourcing technique has the potential to be more widely applied in other regions to reveal deeper connections between the sources of GST production and sites of consumption across space and through time.
Published: 14 October 2021
Advances in Archaeological Practice pp 1-7; https://doi.org/10.1017/aap.2021.25
Over the past few years our body politic has become increasingly polarized: Republicans versus Democrats, conservatives versus liberals. That polarization filters down to governmental actions, policies, and decisions, evidenced in disagreements over regulation versus deregulation and fossil fuels versus renewable energy. Such polarization—whether legislative, administrative, or judicial and whether at the federal, state, or tribal level—can and does impact the management of our archaeological resources and the way cultural resource management is practiced in the United States. Given that most archaeologists in the United States are employed in cultural resource management, these actions affect their employment. Consequently, it is more critical than ever that archaeologists become cultural resource management and historic preservation advocates. This article discusses the whys and hows of preservation advocacy. Active, science-based advocacy by preservationists can engage governmental decision-makers to give due consideration to cultural resources and their management when making decisions or drafting and voting on legislation. Although the discussion focuses on advocacy at the federal level, the observations and suggestions are applicable at the state and local level.
Published: 31 August 2021
Advances in Archaeological Practice pp 1-15; https://doi.org/10.1017/aap.2021.17
This research employs machine learning (Mask Region-Based Convolutional Neural Networks [Mask R-CNN]) and cluster analysis (Density-based spatial clustering of applications with noise [DBSCAN]) to identify more than 20,000 relict charcoal hearths (RCHs) organized in large “fields” within and around State Game Lands (SGLs) in Pennsylvania. This research has two important threads that we hope will advance the archaeological study of landscapes. The first is the significant historical impact of charcoal production, a poorly understood industry of the late eighteenth to early twentieth century, on the historic and present landscape of the United States. Although this research focuses on charcoal production in Pennsylvania, it has broad application for both identifying and contextualizing historical charcoal production throughout the world and for better understanding modern charcoal production. The second thread is the use of open data, open source, and open access tools to conduct this analysis, as well as the open publication of the resultant data. Not only does this research demonstrate the significance of open access tools and data but the open publication of our code as well as our data allow others to replicate our work, to tweak our code and protocols for their own work, and reuse our results.
Advances in Archaeological Practice, Volume 9, pp 193-193; https://doi.org/10.1017/aap.2021.21
Advances in Archaeological Practice, Volume 9, pp 194-201; https://doi.org/10.1017/aap.2021.19
Although remote sensing techniques are increasingly becoming ubiquitous within archaeological research, their proper and ethical use has rarely been critically examined, particularly among Native American communities. Potential ethical challenges are outlined, along with suggested changes to archaeological frameworks that will better address Native American concerns. These changes center on a revised view of remote sensing instruments as being potentially invasive and extractive, even if nondestructive. Understanding the potentially invasive and extractive nature of these tools and methods, archaeologists are urged to work closely with Native/Indigenous communities to create more holistic practices that include community knowledge holders and to actively discourage stereotypes that pit archaeologists and Native/Indigenous communities against one another. Considering the speed at which remote sensing is being used in archaeology, these changes need to be embraced as soon as possible so that future work can be conducted in an ethical manner.
Advances in Archaeological Practice, Volume 9, pp 250-256; https://doi.org/10.1017/aap.2021.16
Overview Spatial and shape data represented by 3D digital models have become a central component of our archaeological datasets. Immersive visual and audio interaction with these models offers an intuitive way to use these data. The mixing of the virtual with the real world suits archaeological work particularly well, and the technologies of augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) enable this type of interaction. Much past work on these technologies has involved public engagement, but they also hold the potential for valuable deployment directly in archaeological practice and research, especially the seamless integration offered by MR. This review examines the range of experiments archaeologists are currently undertaking with AR and MR, and it looks to the future applications of these technologies.
Advances in Archaeological Practice, Volume 9; https://doi.org/10.1017/aap.2021.22
Advances in Archaeological Practice, Volume 9, pp 215-225; https://doi.org/10.1017/aap.2021.14
For tribes whose preservation values and mitigation strategies for managing cultural heritage are built on an ethic of avoidance and minimal disturbance, geophysical technologies can be key components of the research design. These technologies, most notably ground-penetrating radar, have been used with great success in identifying and evaluating the depth, extent, and composition of some of those resources for heritage research and management purposes, easing tensions when working with sensitive ancestral places. Additionally, research in archaeological geophysics has shifted from feature finding in order to excavate targets of interest to the recognition that geophysical survey can provide data and interpretations for whole sites and landscapes complementary to or beyond that of excavation, especially regarding the intactness and sensitivity of cultural heritage sites. This use of geophysics as a primary method for research rather than a precursor to archaeological research has empowered tribes with another tool to advocate for low-impact investigation of ancestral sites and landscapes that position tribes as pro-science. Geophysical technologies provide scientifically rigorous yet minimally impactful strategies for investigating heritage while satisfying the requirements of academic and compliance archaeology in ways that can also be culturally appropriate for a much broader spectrum of tribal cultural heritage under consideration.
Advances in Archaeological Practice pp 1-13; https://doi.org/10.1017/aap.2021.11
The documentation and analysis of archaeological lithics must navigate a basic tension between examining and recording data on individual artifacts or on aggregates of artifacts. This poses a challenge both for artifact processing and for database construction. We present here an R Shiny solution that enables lithic analysts to enter data for both individual artifacts and aggregates of artifacts while maintaining a robust yet flexible data structure. This takes the form of a browser-based database interface that uses R to query existing data and transform new data as necessary so that users entering data of varying resolutions still produce data structured around individual artifacts. We demonstrate the function and efficacy of this tool (termed the Queryable Artifact Recording Interface [QuARI]) using the example of the Stelida Naxos Archaeological Project (SNAP), which, focused on a Paleolithic and Mesolithic chert quarry, has necessarily confronted challenges of processing and analyzing large quantities of lithic material.