(View exact match)altitudeCATEGORY: term
DEFINITION: The distance an object or surface lies above a datum plane, usually sea level. It is one of the three dimensions defining the spatial location of artifacts.
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Lower Sonoran Agricultural ComplexCATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A zone of high temperatures and tolerant crops in the Southwest U.S. The Lower Sonoran Zone, in the southern sections of the Rio Grande and Pecos valleys and in New Mexico's southwestern corner, usually occurs at altitudes below 4,500 feet. It includes nearly 20,000 square miles of New Mexico's best grazing area and irrigated farmland. Utah's 4,000 plant species represent six climatic zones, from the arid Lower Sonoran in the southwestern Virgin Valley to the Arctic on mountain peaks.Monitor ValleyCATEGORY: site
DEFINITION: A high-altitude area in the central Great Basin (Nevada); the location of Gatecliff Shelter.PazyrykSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pazirik
DEFINITION: A group of some 40 barrows in the Altai Mountains of central Asia in Kazakhstan, dating to the 5th-3rd centuries BC. They consist of pits some 6 meters square covered with low cairns. The construction and altitude have combined to keep their contents frozen, and are thus remarkably well preserved. There is a rich collection of clothing and felt hangings decorated with animal art, dismantled four-wheeled wagons, and artifacts of wood, leather, skin, and wool. There are mummified remains of several tombs; the men were covered with tattoos. Many horses, with bridles, saddles, and saddlecloths had been buried in neighboring chambers. The burials clearly belonged to the rulers of a nomadic people of the eastern steppes related to the Scythians. The site is perhaps the richest source of information about the customs and artifacts of the Scythians before their westward migrations into western Asia and Europe.aerial photographySYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: air photography, aerophotography, aerial reconnaissance
DEFINITION: A technique of photographic observation and survey of the ground from an aircraft, spacecraft, or satellite which provides detailed information about sites and features without excavation. It is most important for locating archaeological sites before destruction of the landscape through building, road construction, or modern agricultural practices. When viewed from the air, sites may be revealed as crop marks, soil marks, shadow marks, or frost marks. For example, the plan of a site, ditches, walls, pits, etc. can be reflected in the way the crops grew (crop marks) or a pattern of dark occupation soil may show against a lighter topsoil or stone from walls may be just under the surface (soil marks). Oblique aerial photos, from lower altitudes, detect shadows created by earthworks and permit more detailed interpretations of known sites (shadow marks). Variations in the amount of frost retained on the ground may indicate the presence of buried archaeological features (frost marks). Though these can sometimes be recognized on the ground by careful fieldwalking and contour planning, much larger areas can be examined from the air and overall patterns will be clearer. The same site may not be susceptible every year to aerial photographs, as local climatic variation affects the nature of the feature fillings; a site may only be seen once in ten or twenty years. The use of false-color infrared photography has increased the versatility of aerial photography and the development of photogrammetry allows the accurate mapping of both archaeological and geographical information. Recording of thermographic and radar images complements photographic methods. Aerial photography has proved to be one of the most successful methods of discovering archaeological sites. Large areas of ground can be covered quickly, and the ground plan of a new site can be plotted from the photographs. Features can be revealed in extraordinary detail by these means. The pioneers of this technique were O.G.S. Crawford and Major Allen in Britain and Père Poidebard in Syria, though its first use goes back to 1906 at Stonehenge.astrolabeCATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An instrument, usually consisting of a disc and pointer, formerly used to make astronomical measurements, especially of the altitudes of celestial bodies and as an aid in navigation.escarpmentSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: scarp
CATEGORY: geology; geography
DEFINITION: A natural steep landmark or massive fault block. This landform consists of a steep slope which marks an abrupt change in altitude between two adjacent land surfaces. This long cliff or steep slope separates two comparatively level or more gently sloping surfaces and is a result of erosion or faulting. The term also refers to the side of the vallum sloping into the fossa, or ditch, nearest to a fort(ification).isostaticCATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: Pertaining to changes in the altitude of the Earth's crust relative to the sea - shifts in the crustal mass in compensation for loading and unloading of the crust.potatoSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: common potato, white potato, Irish potato
DEFINITION: One of some 150 tuber-bearing species of the genus Solanum (family Solanaceae). The potato is considered by most botanists a native of the Peruvian-Bolivian Andes and is one of the world's main food crops. At the time of the Spanish conquest, potatoes were grown all over the highlands from Colombia to Chile. Unlike maize, the potato flourishes at high altitudes and was the basic staple of many of the societies of the Altiplano, such as Tiahunaco.ryeCATEGORY: flora
DEFINITION: A cereal grass and its edible grain that is used to make rye bread and rye whiskey. Rye cultivation probably originated in southwestern Asia about 6500 BC, migrating westward across the Balkan Peninsula and over Europe. Today rye is grown extensively in Europe, Asia, and North America. It is mainly cultivated where climate and soil are unfavorable for other cereals and as a winter crop where temperatures are too cool for winter wheat. The plant, which thrives in high altitudes, has the greatest winter hardiness of all small grains, growing as far north as the Arctic Circle.