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Archaeological Site
An ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric or historic or contemporary), and which has been, or may be, investigated using the discipline of archaeology and represents a part of the archaeological record . Sites may range from those with few or no remains visible above ground, to buildings and other structures still in use. An archaeological site with human presence dating from 4th century BC, Fillipovka, South Urals, Russia . This site has been interpreted as a Sarmatian Kurgan . Pulli settlement is the oldest known settlement in Estonia and it dates back around 11,000 years. Archaeological excavations here were carried out in the 1960s and 70s. Beyond this, the definition and geographical extent of a "site" can vary widely, depending on the period studied and the theoretical approach of the archaeologist. It is almost invariably difficult to delimit a site. It is sometimes taken to indicate a settlement of some sort although the archaeologist must also define the limits of human activity around the settlement. Any episode of deposition such as a hoard or burial can form a site as well. Development-led archaeology undertaken as cultural resources management has the disadvantage (or the benefit) of having its sites defined by the limits of the intended development
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Prehistoric
PREHISTORY is the period of human activity between the use of the first stone tools ~3.3 million years ago and the invention of writing systems, the earliest of which appeared ~5300 years ago. Sumer in Mesopotamia , the Indus valley civilisation and ancient Egypt were the first civilisations to develop their own scripts, and to keep historical records; this took place already during the early Bronze Age . Neighbouring civilizations were the first to follow. Most other civilizations reached the end of prehistory during the Iron Age . The three-age system of division of prehistory into the Stone Age , followed by the Bronze Age and Iron Age, remains in use for much of Eurasia and North Africa , but is not generally used in those parts of the world where the working of hard metals arrived abruptly with contact with Eurasian cultures, such as the Americas , Oceania , Australasia and much of Sub-Saharan Africa . These areas also, with some exceptions in Pre-Columbian civilizations in the Americas, did not develop complex writing systems before the arrival of Eurasians, and their prehistory reaches into relatively recent periods
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Recorded History
RECORDED HISTORY or WRITTEN HISTORY is a historical narrative based on a written record or other documented communication. Recorded history can be contrasted with other narratives of the past, such as mythological , oral or archeological traditions. For broader world history , recorded history begins with the accounts of the ancient world around the 4th millennium BC , and coincides with the invention of writing . Examples of written texts, however, can be found dating as far back as 1750 BCE in Ancient Mesopotamia, such as Hammurabi\'s Code . For some geographic regions or cultures, written history is limited to a relatively recent period in human history because of the limited use of written records. Moreover, human cultures do not always record all of the information relevant to later historians, such as the full impact of natural disasters or the names of individuals; thus, recorded history for particular types of information is limited based on the types of records kept. Because of these limits, recorded history in different contexts may refer to different periods of time depending on the historical topic. The interpretation of recorded history often relies on historical method , or the set of techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write accounts of the past
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Archaeology
ARCHAEOLOGY, or ARCHEOLOGY, is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture . The archaeological record consists of artifacts , architecture , biofacts or ecofacts, and cultural landscapes . Archaeology can be considered both a social science and a branch of the humanities . In North America , archaeology is considered a sub-field of anthropology , while in Europe archaeology is often viewed as either a discipline in its own right or a sub-field of other disciplines. Archaeologists study human prehistory and history , from the development of the first stone tools at Lomekwi in East Africa 3.3 million years ago up until recent decades. Archaeology as a field is distinct from the discipline of palaeontology , the study of fossil remains. To reiterate, archaeologists do not dig dinosaurs, and tend to find this misconception rather disheartening. Archaeology is particularly important for learning about prehistoric societies, for whom there may be no written records to study. Prehistory includes over 99% of the human past, from the Paleolithic until the advent of literacy in societies across the world. Archaeology has various goals, which range from understanding culture history to reconstructing past lifeways to documenting and explaining changes in human societies through time
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Archaeological Record
The ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORD is the body of physical (not written ) evidence about the past. It is one of the core concepts in archaeology , the academic discipline concerned with documenting and interpreting the archaeological record. Archaeological theory is used to interpret the archaeological record for a better understanding of human cultures. The archaeological record can consist of the earliest ancient findings as well as contemporary artifacts . Human activity has had a large impact on the archaeological record. Destructive human processes, such as agriculture and land development , may damage or destroy potential archaeological sites . Other threats to the archaeological record include natural phenomena and scavenging. Archaeology can be a destructive science for the finite resources of the archaeological record are lost to excavation. Therefore archaeologists limit the amount of excavation that they do at each site and keep meticulous records of what is found. The archaeological record is the record of human history, of why civilizations prosper or fail and why cultures change and grow. It is the story of the world that humans have created
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Russian Federation
Coordinates : 60°N 90°E / 60°N 90°E / 60; 90 Russian Federation Российская Федерация (Russian ) Rossiyskaya Federatsiya Flag Coat of arms ANTHEM: " "Gosudarstvenny gimn Rossiyskoy Federatsii " (transliteration ) "State Anthem of the Russian Federation" Location of Russia
Russia
(green) Russian-administered Crimea
Crimea
(disputed ; light green)a Capital and largest city Moscow
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Sarmatian
_Pontic Steppe_ * Domestication of the horse * Kurgan * Kurgan culture * Steppe cultures * Bug-Dniester * Sredny Stog * Dnieper-Donets * Samara * Khvalynsk * Yamna * Mikhaylovka culture _Caucasus_ * Maykop East-Asia * Afanasevo _Eastern Europe_ * Usatovo * Cernavodă * Cucuteni _Northern Europe_* Corded ware * Baden * Middle Dnieper ------------------------- Bronze Age _Pontic Steppe_ * Chariot
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Kurgan
Pontic Steppe * Domestication of the horse * Kurgan * Kurgan culture
Kurgan culture
* Steppe
Steppe
cultures * Bug-Dniester * Sredny Stog * Dnieper-Donets * Samara * Khvalynsk * Yamna * Mikhaylovka culture
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Pulli Settlement
PULLI SETTLEMENT, located on the right bank of the Pärnu River , is the oldest known human settlement in Estonia . It is two kilometers from the town of Sindi , which is 14 kilometers from Pärnu . According to radiocarbon dating , Pulli was settled around 11,000 years ago, at the beginning of the 9th millennium BC . A dog tooth found at the Pulli settlement is the first evidence for the existence of the domesticated dog in the territory of Estonia. In all, 1175 items used by people of the Mesolithic period were excavated at the Pulli settlement, among them tools mostly made of flint , especially arrowheads . A few items made of bone were found too, such as fishhooks and accessories made of animal claws. In the Baltic area , the best sources of flint were on the south and southeast of the Baltic, in present-day Latvia and Lithuania and in Belarus . There are few natural sources of flint in the territory of Estonia. However, black flint of high quality from southern Lithuania and Belarus is identical with examples found at the Pulli settlement. The people who lived at Pulli probably moved there from the south after the ice had melted, moving along the Daugava river in Latvia, then along the Latvian-Estonian coast of the Baltic Sea, and finally to the mouth of the Pärnu river
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Estonia
ESTONIA (/ɛˈstoʊniə/ (_ listen ); Estonian : Eesti_ ), officially the REPUBLIC OF ESTONIA (Estonian: _Eesti Vabariik_), is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe . It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland , to the west by the Baltic Sea , to the south by Latvia (343 km), and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia (338.6 km). Across the Baltic Sea lies Sweden in the west and Finland in the north. The territory of Estonia consists of a mainland and 2,222 islands and islets in the Baltic Sea, covering 45,339 km2 (17,505 sq mi) of land and water, and is influenced by a humid continental climate . The territory of Estonia has been inhabited since at least 6500 BC, with Finno-Ugric speakers – the linguistic ancestors of modern Estonians – arriving no later than around 1800 BC
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Hoard
A HOARD or "wealth deposit" is an archaeological term for a collection of valuable objects or artifacts , sometimes purposely buried in the ground, in which case it is sometimes also known as a CACHE. This would usually be with the intention of later recovery by the hoarder; hoarders sometimes died or were unable to return for other reasons (forgetfulness or physical displacement from its location) before retrieving the hoard, and these surviving hoards might then be uncovered much later by metal detector hobbyists, members of the public, and archaeologists . Hoards provide a useful method of providing dates for artifacts through association as they can usually be assumed to be contemporary (or at least assembled during a decade or two), and therefore used in creating chronologies. Hoards can also be considered an indicator of the relative degree of unrest in ancient societies. Thus conditions in 5th and 6th century Britain spurred the burial of hoards, of which the most famous are the Hoxne Hoard , Suffolk; the Mildenhall Treasure , the Fishpool Hoard , Nottinghamshire, the Water Newton hoard, Cambridgeshire, and the Cuerdale Hoard , Lancashire, all preserved in the British Museum . Prudence Harper of the Metropolitan Museum of Art voiced some practical reservations about hoards at the time of the Soviet exhibition of Scythian gold in New York City in 1975
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Burial
BURIAL or INTERMENT is the ritual act of placing a dead person or animal, sometimes with objects, into the ground. This is accomplished by excavating a pit or trench, placing the deceased and objects in it, and covering it over. Humans have been burying their dead for at least 100,000 years. Burial is often seen as indicating respect for the dead. It has been used to prevent the odor of decay, to give family members closure and prevent them from witnessing the decomposition of their loved ones, and in many cultures it has been seen as a necessary step for the deceased to enter the afterlife or to give back to the cycle of life. Methods of burial may be heavily ritualized and can include natural burial (sometimes called "green burial"); embalming or mummification ; the use of containers for the dead such as shrouds , caskets , grave liners , and burial vaults all of which can retard decomposition of the body. Sometimes objects or grave goods are buried with the body, which may be dressed in fancy or ceremonial garb. Depending on the culture, the way the body is positioned may have great significance. The location of the burial may be determined taking into account concerns surrounding health and sanitation, religious concerns, and cultural practices. Some cultures keep the dead close to provide guidance to the living, while others "banish" them by locating burial grounds at a distance from inhabited areas
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Cultural Resources Management
In the broadest sense, CULTURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT (CRM) is the vocation and practice of managing cultural resources, such as the arts and heritage . It incorporates Cultural Heritage Management which is concerned with traditional and historic culture. It also delves into the material culture of archaeology . Cultural resources management encompasses current culture, including progressive and innovative culture, such as urban culture , rather than simply preserving and presenting traditional forms of culture. However, the broad usage of the term is relatively recent and as a result it is most often used as synonymous with heritage management . In the United States, cultural resources management is not usually divorced from the heritage context. The term is, "used mostly by archaeologists and much more occasionally by architectural historians and historical architects, to refer to managing historic places of archaeological, architectural, and historical interests and considering such places in compliance with environmental and historic preservation laws." Cultural resources include both physical assets such as archaeology , architecture , paintings and sculptures and also intangible culture such as folklore and interpretative arts, such as storytelling and drama . Cultural resource managers are typically in charge of museums , galleries , theatres etc., especially those that emphasize culture specific to the local region or ethnic group
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Artifact (archaeology)
An ARTIFACT (usually in American English ) or ARTEFACT (British English ) (from Latin
Latin
phrase arte factum~ars skill + facere to make) is something made or given shape by man, such as a tool or a work of art, especially an object of archaeological interest. In archaeology , however, the word has become a term of particular nuance and is defined as: an object recovered by archaeological endeavor, which may be a cultural artifact having cultural interest. However, modern archaeologists take care to distinguish material culture from ethnicity , which is often more complex, as expressed by Carol Kramer in the dictum "pots are not people". Archaeological artifact from Black Sea region: a Sarmatian-Parthian gold necklace and amulet, 2nd century AD. Examples include stone tools , pottery vessels, metal objects such as weapons, and items of personal adornment such as buttons , jewelry and clothing. Bones
Bones
that show signs of human modification are also examples. Natural objects, such as fire cracked rocks from a hearth or plant material used for food, are classified by archeologists as ecofacts rather than as artifacts
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Feature (archaeology)
A FEATURE in archaeology and especially excavation is a collection of one or more contexts representing some human non-portable activity that generally has a vertical characteristic to it in relation to site stratigraphy . Examples of features are pits , walls, and ditches. General horizontal elements in the stratigraphic sequence , such as layers, dumps, or surfaces are not referred to as features. Examples of surfaces include yards, roads, and floors. Features are distinguished from artifacts in that they cannot be separated from their location without changing their form. Features tend to have an intrusive characteristic or associated cuts . This is not definitive as surfaces can be referred to as features of a building and free standing structures with no construction cut can still be features. Middens (dump deposits) are also referred to as features due to their discrete boundaries. This is seen in comparison to leveling dumps, which stretch out over a substantial portion of a site. The concept of a feature is, to a certain degree, fuzzy, as it will change depending on the scale of excavation . GENERIC FEATURE TYPESFeatures specific to certain architecture types or eras such as trilithon for the purposes of this article are not considered generic. Generic features are feature types that can come from a broad section in time of the archaeological record if not all of it
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Ecofact
In archaeology , a BIOFACT (or ECOFACT) is organic material found at an archaeological site that carries archaeological significance. Biofacts are natural objects found with artifacts or features such as big horn sheep bones, charcoal, plants, and pollen. Biofacts are handled by humans; however, once manipulation occurs, biofacts transform into artifacts. Biofacts reveal how people respond to their surroundings. A common type of biofact is a plant seed . Plant remains, often referred to as macrobotanicals, provide a variety of information ranging from diet to medicine to textile production. Pollen preserved on archaeological sites informs researchers about the ancient environment, and the foods processed and/or grown by prehistoric people. Pollen, when examined over time, also informs on environmental and dietary changes. A seed can be linked to the species of plant that produced it; if massive numbers of seeds of a cultivated species are found at a site, it may be inferred that the species may have been grown for food or other products that are useful to humans, such as clothing , bedding or building materials . Another type of biofact is wood . Wood is made up cellulose , carbohydrates , and lignin . Every year that passes, a new ring is added to the trunk of tree, allowing for dendrochronological dating. Charcoal is burned wood that archaeologist are able to extract
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