CATEGORY: site DEFINITION: A cemeterysite in southeastern Czechoslovakia of the Early Bronze Age where the burials were differentiated according to sex and the orientation was reversed from contemporary sites. At Branc, 81 percent of females were on their left side and 61 percent of males on their right. These mostly simple rectangular pits, sometimes with a wooden lining, of 308 inhumation graves spanning 200-400 years of the early Unetician culture were also analyzed for their grave goods. Within the graves there was clear evidence of community differentiation, with some individuals having more elaborate grave goods than others (on the basis of the rarity of the raw materials used and the time needed to produce the goods). This suggests that there would be leading families, and that wealth and status would tend to be inherited (ascribed) and there is evidence that each member of the community was placed according to lineage, sex, and age.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: [ho-ch'in] CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A system of reverse tribute used in the Han Dynasty of China. Lavish goods were given as a reward for voluntary tributes and loyalty to the Han.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: In Greek antiquity, a shallow basin, usually with two horizontal handles and fitted with a lid which could be reversed to act as a stemmed plate. There are red-figured examples decorates with scenes of women.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A change in the magnetic direction of the Earth. It was discovered that volcanic lava flows, which like kilns and fired clay record the magnetism at the time they were hot, retained measurable magnetization in a reversed direction. Over the last 4 million years, magnetic direction changed at least 10 times. It switched to normal, as we know it, about 700,000 years ago. The direction of the dipole component reverses, on an average, about every 300,000 to 1,000,000 years. This reversal is very sudden on a geologic time scale, apparently taking about 5,000 years. The time between reversals is highly variable, sometimes occurring in less than 40,000 years and at other times remaining steady for as long as 35,000,000 years. No regularities or periodicities have yet been discovered in the pattern of reversals. A long interval of one polarity may be followed by a short interval of opposite polarity. These reversals have proved an important dating aid to archaeology.
CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A property of soil and sediment, measured as a ratio of intensity of magnetization of the material to the strength of an applied magneticfield. Topsoil often has a somewhat enhanced 'magnetic susceptibility' due to magnetic minerals in the material, especially compared with the subsoil. The filling of a ditch or a pit has greater susceptibility than the surrounding area because of higher humus content and perhaps the presence of burnt occupation material. On the basis that contrast between feature and surroundings locates the features, walls, and other stone settings can also be located since they have less susceptibility than the area around them, i.e. they exhibit a reverse anomaly.
CATEGORY: artifact DEFINITION: A polished metal artifact with functional and symbolic uses. It was made in the Iron Age and the backs were decorated in beautiful La Tène designs. It was also made in Egypt from at least the Old Kingdom (2686-2181 BC). In China, mirrors were thought to have magical powers to influence the spirits, and were therefore frequently buried in tombs from late Chou Dynasty (1072-221 BC) until T'ang Dynasty (618-906 AD). Made of bronze, they were cast with elaborate decoration on the reverse of a highly polished convex surface. In Japan, many round imported mirrors and their domestic copies are found from Yayoi and Kofun graves. In Greek and Roman world, mirrors were of polished tin and bronze, decorated and had handles of bone or ivory. Celtic Britain had fine bronze mirrors of c 100 BC-100 AD.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: MDSCAL, multidimensional scaling CATEGORY: technique; measure DEFINITION: A multivariate statistical technique which aims to develop spatial structure from numerical data by estimating the differences and similarities between analytical units. Points or items are distributed in a hyperspace, whose dimensions are a large number of variables, and can be similarly distributed in a space of fewer dimensions. The points, originally randomly distributed, are moved about in the new space until the distances between points are similar in proportion to those between points in the original hyperspace. For example, a group of artifacts, about which a large number of characteristics and measurements have been recorded, can be represented by a two-dimensional plot. The reverse is also possible: distributions in a space of few dimensions can be 'unfolded' into space of many more dimensions. I.e. a statistical technique that distorts multidimensional distances/dissimilarities so that they can be portrayed on a two-dimensional map.
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: A procedure for excavating a circular feature such as a mound, barrow, pit, etc. by laying out trenches. Material is extracted from four quarters of the feature, starting with the two opposite each other and ending with the other two. The quadrants are slightly offset, so that the outer face of the east balk of one is continuous (in reverse) with the outer face of the east balk of its opposite, going through the center of the feature. After the recording of the sections, the balks may be removed and the rest of the center excavated. Before the complete removal of the feature, it allows a look at all four quarters, at two complete cross-sections, and at part of the center, allowing a better interpretation of the stratigraphy of the site.
soil conductivity meter
CATEGORY: tool DEFINITION: A geophysical instrument used in electromagnetic surveying for the detection of metal, but also for the location of archaeological features such as shallow pits, which have a different conductivity from the surrounding soil. The instrument has a transmitter coil which is fed with a continuous sinusoidal current, and a receiver coil; they are mounted at right angles to each other at opposite ends of a horizontal bar about a meter long. The instrument is designed to pick up differences in conductivity between features and the surrounding soil, i.e. the reverse of a resistivity meter. Resistivity surveying is considered more sensitive and versatile.
Stirling, Matthew Williams (1896-1975)
CATEGORY: person DEFINITION: American archaeologist who worked extensively to investigate the Olmec, especially at La Venta, San Lorenzo, Tres Zapotes, and Cerro de las Mesas. At Tres Zapotes, near the Tuxtla Mountains in the old Olmec heartland" he found its most famous monument the fragmentary Stela C. On the reverse is a column of numerals in the bar-and-dot system which he read as a date in the Maya calendar corresponding to 31 BC; this is more than a century earlier than any known dated inscription from the Maya area itself. It was thus highly probable that this calendrical system formerly thought to be a Maya invention was developed in the Late Formative by epi-Olmec peoples living outside the Maya area proper. He also found at La venta the tremendous "colossal heads"."
CATEGORY: technique DEFINITION: The layers of a site are excavated accroding to their natural shapes and dimensions and in the reverseorder to that in which they were deposited.