Artifacts and Ecofacts

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Anthropology ・MLA ・2 Sources

Artifacts are substances that provide a lot of information about the culture of the human beings that existed in past many years. Such information can be got from some of the objects that ancient people interacted with. The archaeology specialists, for instance, commonly use ecofacts, the environment where the humans under study could have lived and the organic remains. Some of the valuable facts that can be revealed by the substances about the ancestors includes the ecosystem, the diet and the local weather in the area. The methods used in the analysis of the artifacts and the ecofacts include processing, sorting and microanalysis. Processing involves the proper management of the archaeological material obtained. During the research process, a lot of study material are obtained and therefore proper decision must be made on how to keep and maintain the material. Processing of the materials also entails other areas as cleaning, sorting and proper storage of the material. Another method used in the analysis of the materials is sorting which is the process of grouping the study resources into various categories. The study materials are also sampled to determine their relationship with the lifestyle or culture of the people that lived in the researched areas. Since most of the archaeological resources are obtained by excavation, sampling of the soil must be done to determine the presence of certain specific organic matter. The process also involves analyzing the remains of plants and animals that existed in the areas during the period in question.

How the Humans Arrived in the New World

There are several theories that attempt to explain how the human beings arrived into the new world. Various archaeologists have come with different evidences showing that the humans used different routes while coming into the new world. The first model on how the human arrived in the new world is the Clovis model which suggests that the first group of humans which arrived in America were the Clovis Hunters who came from the Arctic (Meltzer et al. 660) The theory has been rejected by claims that other humans existed in the area before the Clovis Hunters and that is the Mastadon hunters. Another archaeologist, Tom Dillehay, has also refuted the hypothesis by suggesting that there are other ancient people who used the route through Chile to gain access to South America. He came up with the theory after the discovery of the wood and other organic resources in the area. Carbon dating revealed that the material had stayed in the region for more than 14600 year. It was, therefore, a clear indication that the people had moved from Alaska before the well known Clovis tools were discovered. Most researchers, however, found the area where the discovery was made to be too remote making it difficult for them to verify validity of the discovery. Dennis Stanford also came up with the coastal migration hypothesis (Solutrean hypothesis) which claims that migrations along the coast was likely to have been boosted by the migration of people across the Atlantic. According to the hypothesis, the movement led to the transfer of the technology on the use of stone tool from Spain to Europe. The Solutrean hypothesis has also been rejected by several DNA studies albeit been supported by the several other current researchers.

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Barham, Anthony J., and Richard Macphail, I, editors. Archaeological Sediments and Soils: Analysis, Interpretation and Management. Routledge, 2009.

Meltzer, David J., Donald Grayson, Gerardo Ardila, and Dannis Joe Stanford “On the Pleistocene Antiquity of Monte Verde, Southern Chile.” American Antiquity, vol. 62, no. 4, 1997, pp. 659-663.

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