Archaeology Wordsmith

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chemical analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The main use of chemical analysis in archaeology has been the identification of trace, major, and minor elements characteristic of particular sources of raw materials such as obsidian. The methods include X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, optical emission spectrometry, atomic absorption spectrometry, spectrographic X-ray diffraction, and neutron activation analysis. This information can be useful in the study of technology, trade, and distribution.
chemical anomaly
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any change in the chemical constituency of the soils underlying a habitation, creates by the common activities of human beings.
DEFINITION: A term referring to anthropological concepts and distinctions that are considered meaningful, accurate, or appropriate to the participants in a given culture. It involves an analysis of linguistic or behavioral phenomena in terms of the internal structure of a particular culture.
geochemical analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: geochemical survey
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An investigatory technique which involves taking soil samples at regular intervals from the surface of a site, and measuring their phosphate content and other chemical properties to determine the natural separation and concentration of elements by Earth processes.
systemic context
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Behavioral system wherein artifacts are part of an ongoing system of manufacture, use, reuse, and discard

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