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Historic Sites Act of 1935
DEFINITION: A United States law that declared it a national policy to identify and protect important archaeological and historical sites on federal land. An act that provided for the preservation of historic American sites, buildings, objects, and antiquities of national significance and for other purposes.
CATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: A people of the central Zagros mountains who occupied Babylon after the Hittite raid c 1595 BC and who had a distinctive culture and language. Their occupation ended with the city's conquest by Assyria and Elam c 1157 BC. The Kassites may or may not have been Indo-Europeans, but their rulers were probably Indo-Aryan aristocracy who taught them horsebreeding and riding, which they introduced into Mesopotamia. One important source of information on the Kassites was the Amarna correspondence on foreign relations of 14th century BC. The Kassites used distinctive boundary stones called kudurru. The Kassite rule represents the longest episode of political integration in the history of southern Mesopotamia. Important sites are Aqar Quf, Warka, and Nippur.
Lindner Site, Nauwalabila
DEFINITION: Painted sandstone shelter in Arnhem Land, northern Australia, dating to 20,000 years ago. The lowest levels have Australian Core Tool and Scraper tradition artifacts of older than 18,000 bp. There are edge-ground tools dating c 14,000 bp, Australian Small Tool tradition points of about 6000 bp, and then adzes about 3500 bp.
Maupiti burial site
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Maupiti burial ground
DEFINITION: An early Eastern Polynesian burial site on Maupiti, Society Islands, dated to 800-1200 AD. There are 16 flexed and extended burials with grave goods of adzes, pendants, pearl-shell fishhooks paralleling the Hane in the Marquesas, and elsewhere in the Society Islands at Vaito'otia (at Huahine) and in New Zealand.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
DEFINITION: A site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that is on the list that is maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, a place of either cultural or physical significance.
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A dark, fine-grained volcanic rock
andesite line
CATEGORY: geography; geology
DEFINITION: The line dividing the Pacific between the Asiatic and Pacific plates through Polynesia. The rocks to its west are continental rocks, including andesitic basalts. To the east are coral atolls and volcanic islands of olivine basalts and other rocks.
archaeological site
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: site; archeological site
DEFINITION: Any concentration of artifacts, ecofacts, features, and structures manufactured or modified by humans.
closed site
DEFINITION: An archaeological site located within a pyramid, chambered tomb, barrow (burial mound), sealed cave, or rock shelter.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: composite order of architecture
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: The fifth of the classical orders of architecture, a blend of the Ionic and Corinthian styles (specifically the Ionic grafted upon the Corinthian). Examples are the arches of Septimus Severus, Titus, Bacchus, and baths of Diocletian.
composite bow
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: An archer's bow made of more than one material - as wood and fiberglass - to combine properties of strength, durability, and power. In early times, a bow of wood was reinforced on one side by layers of animal sinew and on the other side by animal horn.
composite mold
CATEGORY: artifact; geology
DEFINITION: A kind of mold for making metal objects which can have three or more pieces. It may be a simple bivalve mold with the addition of a third part - a plug which will form a socket in the artifact when it is removed.
composite plan
DEFINITION: A plan showing a surface which is composed of two or more units of stratification; the plan of a phase or period interface.
composite shape
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A vessel shape that in silhouette is marked by characteristic points of angles or corners and lacks inflection points
composite soil
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: welded soil, superimposed soil, polypedomorphic soil
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A soil profile that forces its features upon more than one parent material.
composite tool
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: A tool formed of two or more joined parts, e.g. composite toggling harpoon head.
deposited assemblage
DEFINITION: Set of carcasses or body parts deposited on a site.
CATEGORY: geology
DEFINITION: A dense, fine-grained, igneous rock consisting typically of feldspar and quartz
habitation site
DEFINITION: A general term for any area that has evidence of a domestic activity, such as food preparation. Any site where people lived in the past.
kill site
DEFINITION: Any archaeological site that was primarily used for killing and butchering animals. It is recognized by its distinctive location, tools assemblages, or animal bone evidence. These sites are also recognized through taphonomy.
kiln site
DEFINITION: Centers for the production of glazed stonewares during the early 2nd millennium AD on mainland Asia. The best-known were at Phnom Kulen and Buriram (Angkor), Go Sanh (Champa), and Kalong and Sukhothai (Thailand). There were also sites in north Vietnam and Burma.
moated site
CATEGORY: structure
DEFINITION: A class of sites in places like Thailand, Cambodia, England, Ireland, and Flanders. In the first two, they are known from protohistoric and early historic sites and are settlements encircled by one or more irregular moats. In England, Ireland, and Flanders, they were built during the late medieval period. There was a tradition of building defensive moats around castles and manorial establishments and it was taken up by wealthy farmers later. In marshy areas, a moat provided an extra means of drainage when the climate was deteriorating and acted as a source of both dry-season water and edible aquatic flora and fauna.
off-site archaeology
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: non-site archaeology, landscape archaeology
CATEGORY: branch; technique
DEFINITION: The recovery and analysis of unclustered physical remains produced by human activities. Non-site archaeology generally concentrates on remains recovered in a surface or plow zone context. It is an approach, especially in archaeological survey, where the unit of analysis is the artifact rather than the site. Practitioners document the distribution of humanly-modified materials across the landscape.
off-site area
DEFINITION: Any site with low densities of artifacts.
off-site data
DEFINITION: Unclustered physical remains produced by human activities; evidence from a range of information, including scatters of artifacts and features such as plowmarks and field boundaries. This data can provide important evidence about human exploitation of the environment.
open site
DEFINITION: A term for any archaeological site not located within a cave or rock shelter.
settlement site
DEFINITION: A location that is or was habitation
shadow site
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: An archaeological site with surface shadows caused by irregularities in elevation, indicating the presence of submerged features such as earthworks and ditches. Such sites are identified from the air, especially in aerial photography. Shadow sites are best seen in the low sun of evenings and early mornings. Oblique light can show reduced topography of sites invisible from the ground.
DEFINITION: Any location that demonstrates past human activity, as evidence by the presence of artifacts, features, ecofacts, or other material remains; a single place in which excavation or reconnaissance has revealed objects or data of archaeological interest. The definition implies that such a location was utilized by humans for a sufficient period of time to develop features or become a deposit ground for artifacts. Sites can range from small, temporary camps to large, complex cities, from a living site to a quarry site, and from one artifact to many levels of occupation. Major types of sites include domestic / habitation sites, kill-sites, and processing / butchering sites.
site catchment
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: site territory, catchment area
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: The area surrounding a settlement or camp that is habitually used by the inhabitants as a source of materials for food, toolmaking, and the like. It is defined as the total area from which all the animals, plants and artifacts of which there are remains preserved on the site, are derived. Each group of people living on the site is assumed to have had a 'territory', the area around the site which they habitually exploited.
site catchment analysis
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: SCA; site-catchment analysis
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of reconstructing the economy of a site by studying the resources that are available within a reasonable distance, generally 1-2 hours' walking time from the site. The technique was devised by E. Higgs and C. Vita-Finzi for 'the study of the relationship between technology and those natural resources lying within economic range of individual sites', an extension of the least-cost principle. The catchment area is defined by drawing a circle around the site; the radius has often been set at 5 km (i.e. an hour's walk) for agriculturists and 10 km (i.e. two hours' walk) for hunter-gatherers, figures which represent ethnographically observed averages. Within the catchment area the proportions of such resources as arable or pastoral land are calculated, and from these figures conclusions can be drawn concerning the nature and function of the site. The technique offers a valuable and reasonably objective method for analyzing relationships between site location, technology, and available resources. This type of off-site analysis can concentrate on the total area from which a site's contents have been derived.
site datum
DEFINITION: The master control point on an archaeological site, into which all measurements are tied.
site exploitation survey
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A method of achieving a fairly standardized assessment of the area habitually used by a site's occupants.
site exploitation territory
CATEGORY: feature
DEFINITION: The area around a particular site which would have been most intensively or frequently exploited for resources such as food. It is a central concept in palaeoeconomy.
site grid
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A set of regularly spaced intersecting north-south and east-west lines, usually marked by stakes, providing the basic reference system for recording horizontal provenience (coordinates) within a site.
site hierarchy
DEFINITION: The site size and functional differences within a group of roughly contemporary sites - possibly indicating different economic arrangements, political hierarchy, etc.
site locality
DEFINITION: A large geographic area, such as a gorge or valley, in which many separate sites are clustered.
site map
DEFINITION: A map depicting the details of a site, usually made by recording all observable surface features.
site plan
DEFINITION: A specially prepared map for recording the horizontal provenience of artifacts, food remains, and features - keyed to topographic maps. Such a map may be designed to depict a specific detail within a site, usually a single feature or group of features.
site structure
DEFINITION: The arrangement of the various components of an archaeological site, including artifacts, features, and structures. Site structure analysis identifies how a space was organized and used and how it related to aspects of the cultural system. Site structure analyses are used to make warranting arguments in the context of the archaeological record and are often done in ethnoarchaeological studies.
site surface survey map
DEFINITION: A systematic and accurate map of an archaeological site and its surroundings.
site survey
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The collection of surface data and evaluation of a site's archaeological significance.
site-formation processes
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: site formation process; formation process
DEFINITION: The total of the processes - natural and cultural, individual and combined - that affected the formation and development of the archaeological record. Natural formation processes refer to natural or environmental events which govern the burial and survival of the archaeological record. Cultural formation processes include the deliberate or accidental activities of humans. On a settlement site, for example, the nature of human occupation, the activities carried out, the pattern of breakage and loss of material, rubbish disposal, rebuilding, or re-use of the same area will all influence the surviving archaeological deposits. After the site's abandonment, it will be further affected by such factors as erosion, glaciation, later agriculture, the activities of plants and animals, as well as the natural processes of chemical action in the soil. Reconstruction of these processes helps to relate the observed evidence of an archaeological site to the human activity responsible for it.
surface site
DEFINITION: Area where archaeological remains can be found on the surface of the ground.
telehistoric site
DEFINITION: Prehistoric sites far removed from the origination of written records.
type site
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: type-site, typesite
CATEGORY: term; technique
DEFINITION: A site that establishes the typical content of a particular culture, taken as characteristic of a given cultural group. Often, it is the site on which that group was first recognized. An example is al-Badari, the type site of the Badarian culture.
wet-site excavation
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Technique of excavating waterlogged sites by pumping water through hoses to spray the dirt away and expose archaeological features and artifacts.

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