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Abejas phase
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The first important agricultural phase in the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico, dating 3500-1500 BC, after the introduction of maize.
Ajuerado phase
CATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The earliest phase of pre-village, pre-agriculture in Tehuacan Valley, Mexico, from c 7200-7000 BC. There was hunting and gathering.
Coxcatlán phase
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Occupation phase of Mexico's Tehuacán Valley from c 5500-4500 BC. Maize first appeared, though wild and semi-domesticated plants were still eaten along with small game.
El Riego phase
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: The occupation phase of c 7000-5500 BC in Tehuacán Valley, Mexico, with a hunter-gatherer society. Squash, chili peppers, and avocados may have been domesticated by the very small population.
Erligang phase
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A stage of the early Bronze Age in North China seen in two strata at Zhengzhou Erligang, classified archaeologically as Middle Shang. The phase preceded the Anyang period (c 1300-1030 BC) and radiocarbon dates have been c 1600-1550 bc. The massive rammed-earth fortification, 118 feet wide at its base and enclosing an area of 1.2 square miles, would have taken 10,000 men more than 12 years to build. Also found were ritual bronzes, including four monumental tetrapods, palace foundations; workshops for bronze casting, pot making, and bone working; burials; and two inscribed fragments of oracle bones. The Erligang phase may correspond to the widest sway of the Shang empire and is known for its highly developed bronze-casting industry. Some Chinese archaeologists call the phase Early Shang.
Meillacoid phase
CATEGORY: culture; ceramics
DEFINITION: One of two ceramic series (the other being Chicoid) which emerged from the Ostinoid series. Originating in Haiti, it remained largely confined to the western Greater Antilles. Sites are usually village shell middens, but are often close to good agricultural land. The characteristic pottery is thin and hard but with a rough surface texture and simple incision, sometimes combined with appliquéd strips. The dates are usually within 850-1000 AD, although some sites in central Cuba endured to as late as 1500.
Phase I survey
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An exploratory survey of an area to determine location and boundaries of any historic or archaeological site potentially eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
Phase II testing
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A thorough investigation of an historic or archaeological site to make recommendations regarding its eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Phase III data recovery
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An excavation of an historic or archaeological site listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places prior to its demolition for new construction.
Prairie phase
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Early Woodland-Middle Woodland group in southwestern Wisconsin, dated to c 100 AD. Prairie Ware, sandy-paste vessels with incised, corded, and fingernail-punctated decoration, was associated with it.
Purron phase
CATEGORY: chronology; culture
DEFINITION: In the Tehuacán Valley, Mexico, a phase, c 2300-1500 BC, with food collecting and plant cultivation. The dates fall between the end of the Abejas and start of the Ajalpan phases. In the Purron phase, the first pottery was produced in vessel forms that duplicate earlier stone vessels.
Weeden Island phase
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A culture following Middle Woodland and preceding Mississippian that occupied much of north Florida, southwest Georgia, and southeast Alabama c 200-1000 AD. The pottery is among the finest of the eastern US.
CATEGORY: term; technique
DEFINITION: A term generally referring to an archaeological unit defined by artifacts and cultural traits that distinguish it from other units. It is an archaeological unit defined by characteristic groupings of culture traits that can be identified precisely in time and space. It lasts for a relatively short time and is found at one or more sites in a locality or region. Therefore, it is an interval of time in the archaeological record, especially a relatively limited time within a specific locality or region and often used to represent a distinct prehistoric people. The archaeologist abstracts the phase from a number of components which occupy a certain area in space and the same span in time and which share many or most of their distinctive features with each other. These components may represent units as small as tribal camps or as large as cities. It is similar to "focus" in the Midwestern Taxonomic System and to "culture" in the Old World.

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