(View exact match)inclusionSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: temper
DEFINITION: Material added to clay to provide strength and improve the firing process.
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aplasticsSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: temper
DEFINITION: Intentional or accidental inclusions in pottery clays before firing.biased sampleCATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Sampling technique in which certain units have more chance of inclusion than others.bodySYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: fabric, paste, ware
DEFINITION: Clay or a mixture of clay and inclusions (temper) that is suitable for forming vessels or that has been fired into a vesselcorrelationCATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The use of various methods, often multiple methods, to demonstrate the equivalency of stratigraphic units. This term refers to the relation of one stratigraphical unit to another, by petrological, osteological, lithographic, cultural, chronological, or palaeontological means. For example, stratigraphic units may be correlated using palaeontological criteria, absolute dating methods, relative dating methods, cross-dating methods, and position relative to the glacial-interglacial cycle by examining physical and biological attributes. Correlation of fossil inclusions is a principle of stratigraphy: that strata may be correlated based on the sequence and uniqueness of their floral and faunal content.fission track datingSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: fission-track dating; fission track age determination
DEFINITION: A chronometric dating technique based on the natural, spontaneous nuclear fission of Uranium 238 and its byproduct, linear atomic displacements/tracks. The basis for this technique is that a uranium isotope, U 238, as well as decaying to a stable lead isotope, also undergoes spontaneous fission. One in every two million atoms decays in this way. Fission is accompanied by an energy release which sends the resulting two nuclei into the surrounding material, the tracks causing damage to the crystal lattice. These tracks can be counted under a microscope after the polished surface of the sample has been etched with acid. The concentration of uranium can be determined by the induced fission of U 235 by neutron irradiation of the sample. Since the ratio of U 235 to U 238 is known, and is constant, a comparison of the number of tracks from natural fission and the number from induced fission will give the age of the sample. Though the method has been limited in its archaeological use so far, it has already proved a useful check method for potassium-argon dating for volcanic deposits at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, and obsidian, tephra beds, mineral inclusions in pottery, and some man-made glasses have also been dated. A further use of the method is based on the fact that fission tracks disappear if the substance is heated about 500? or so: thus a date achieved for clay (like a hearth), pottery, or obsidian that had been burnt gives the date of burning or firing, since previous fission tracks would have disappeared.geologyCATEGORY: geology; related field
DEFINITION: The study of the physical, chemical, and biological processes and products of the earth; simply, the study of the history of the earth and an understanding of the time scale over which man developed. Geology's aims overlap considerably with those of archaeology, particularly in the prehistoric periods. For example, work on the stratigraphy of the Quaternary to provide a geological chronology for the study of the reconstruction of environmental changes throughout the Quaternary forms an essential background to all archaeology. The palaeontology of fossil hominids and the other animals that lived at the same time is another area in which geology and archaeology overlap. The geological methods of dating such as radiocarbon, palaeomagnetism, and potassium-argon form the basis of most prehistoric chronologies. Geophysical techniques are used for the location of sites and petrology traces the origins of stone implements and inclusions in pottery.heavy mineral analysisCATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of analysis carried out on artifacts such as potsherds to identify the materials used; the shard is crushed and put into a viscous fluid in which the heavier minerals sink to the bottom. It is used to determine the geological source of the sand inclusions in the clay of the pot, and therefore the probable area of manufacture. The method involves the crushing of 10-30 g. of pottery and the floating of the resulting powder on a heavy liquid such as bromoform with a specific gravity of 2.85. Heavy minerals like zircon, garnet, epidote, and tourmaline sink, while quartz sand and clay float: it is the heavy minerals (separated, identified, and counted under a low-power microscope) which characterize the parent formation, and which enable the source of the sand to be identified.lime poppingSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: lime blowing
DEFINITION: A surface defect on ware containing inclusions of calcium carbonate (limestone, shell, calcite)potteryCATEGORY: ceramics
DEFINITION: One of the oldest of the decorative arts, consisting of objects made of clay and hardened with heat. The objects are commonly useful. Earthenware is the oldest and simplest form of pottery; stoneware is a pottery compound that is fired at a sufficiently high temperature to cause it to vitrify and become extremely hard; and porcelain, finer than stoneware and generally translucent, is made by adding feldspar to kaolin and then firing at a high temperature. Its raw material is common, shaping and baking it are simple, and it can be given an infinite variety of forms and decorations. Pottery sherds, almost indestructible, are one of the commonest finds and are very important to archaeologists. It is often one of the clearest indicators of cultural differences, relationships, and developments, and its techniques of manufacture can be comparatively easily recovered by ceramic analysis. It can be shown whether it was modeled, coil-built, or wheel-made. The nature of its fabric, ware, or body can be identified, as can any surface treatment such as slip, paint, or burnish. The wide range of methods of decoration can also be studied. As the date of manufacture can usually be fixed, pieces of pottery give clues to archaeologists as to the date of other finds at the site. Petrological analysis of inclusions has been used to trace the source of pot clays and thus reconstruct ancient trade in pottery. Archaeologists usually call fired pot clay the 'fabric' of a piece of pottery. Texture, mineralogy, and color of fabric may be used to describe and classify pottery.random samplingSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: random sample
DEFINITION: A sample drawn at random from a population, each member of it having an equal or other specified chance of inclusion. This sampling technique is based on a totally random selection of sample units to be investigated, which each unit having an equal chance of being selected.stratigraphyCATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The study and interpretation of the stratification of rocks, sediments, soils, or cultural debris, based on the principle that the lowest layer is the oldest and the uppermost in the youngest - a major tool in establishing a relative dating sequence. The sequence of deposition can be assessed by a study of the relationships of different layers. Dateable artifacts found within layers, and layers or structures which are themselves dateable, can be used to date parts of stratigraphic sequences. An archaeologist has to master the skill to recognize it - to distinguish one deposit from another by its color, texture, smell, or contents; to understand it - to explain how each layer came to be added, whether by natural accumulation, deliberate fill, or collapse of higher-standing buildings; and to record it in measured drawings of the section. There can be problems where a feature filled with one type of material cuts into layers of the same material. Unless the later feature is recognized, objects of two different phases may appear to be stratified together. The underlying principles are: law of superposition, law of cross-cutting relationships, included fragments, and correlation by fossil inclusions. The stratigraphy principle was adopted from geology and is the basis of reconstructing the history of an archaeological site.