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Ch 9: Archaeology and Anthropology

About This Chapter

Watch online anthropology video lessons to learn about Paleolithic-era stone tools, Sumerian architecture, Bronze Age metallurgy and more. These video lessons are short and engaging and make learning easy!

Archaeology and Anthropology - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Use this chapter to investigate the research methods used by archaeologists working in this subfield of anthropology. Find out how stone tools and other artifacts discovered at an excavation site can give us a glimpse into the lives of the earliest people and the structures of ancient civilizations. We'll also help you take a closer look at the concerns of archaeologists studying specific periods in human history. Lessons cover the following topics:

  • Archaeological research methods
  • Characteristics of Stone Age tools
  • Accomplishments of Bronze Age civilizations
  • The rise and fall of Iron Age empires

Video Objectives
Tools and Techniques Used in Archaeology Learn how archaeologists use excavation, surveys and reconnaissance to study human history.
Archaeological Methodology: Prehistoric and Historical Inquiry Contrast methodologies for studying historical archaeology with those used to study prehistoric archaeology.
Historical Change: Causes and Effects Identify the causes and effects of historical change. Explore the role of society in this process.
What Is Paleolithic Archaeology? Get an introduction to the field of archaeology concerned with the Paleolithic era.
Understanding the Evolution of Human Tools Examine the types of artifacts unearthed in the Clovis complex. Assess the significance of the flake tools and folsom points discovered at this site.
Stone Tool Industries of the Paleolithic Age Study characteristics of Clactonian and Mousterian stone tools created during the Paleolithic era.
An Overview of Mesolithic Archaeology Examine concepts studied in the field of archaeology concerned with the Mesolithic era.
Understanding Neolithic Archaeology Identify archaeological topics of study associated with the Neolithic era.
The Fertile Crescent: Cradle of Civilization Peruse artifacts found in the tombs and temples of Mesopotamia and in the ancient city of Uruk.
Sumerian Art and Architecture Examine characteristics of cylinder seals, temples and sculptures created by artists in Sumer.
Heirs of the Sumerians: Babylonians, Hittites, Hurrians and Assyrians Study the legal, civil and architectural accomplishments of these civilizations. Chart their eventual conquest and decline.
Hammurabi's Code: The Advent of Law, Prerequisites and Implications Learn how the codes of Ur-Nammu and Hammurabi established the first body of law.
The Hebrews and Their Beliefs Get an overview of the Torah, and explore its various historical interpretations. Survey the history of the Jewish people.
Ancient Egypt in the Bronze Age Assess the benefits provided by Egypt's position in the Nile Valley. Explore major periods in Egyptian history along with Egypt's artistic and technological achievements.
Iron vs. Bronze: History of Metallurgy Discover the advantages of working with steel instead of bronze. Learn how both types of metal were used in ancient civilizations.
Iron Age Empires: Neo-Babylonian, Neo-Assyrian and Persian Empires Study the power struggles and accomplishments of these three Iron Age empires.
History of the Alphabet: From Cuneiform to Greek Writing Learn how symbolic phonemes and alphabetical characters replaced cuneiform.

15 Lessons in Chapter 9: Archaeology and Anthropology
Tools and Techniques Used in Archaeology

1. Tools and Techniques Used in Archaeology

Today's lesson will explain the archaeological techniques of reconnaissance, survey, and excavation. In doing this, it will highlight the terms, artifacts, site mapping, pedestrian survey, and the different types of excavation.

Archaeological Methodology: Prehistoric and Historic Inquiry

2. Archaeological Methodology: Prehistoric and Historic Inquiry

This lesson will seek to explain the science of archaeological anthropology. In doing so, it will highlight the categories of prehistoric and historical archaeology, as well as define artifacts.

Historical Change: Causes and Effects

3. Historical Change: Causes and Effects

In this lesson, we will examine historical change. We will learn what factors contribute to historical change and see how historical change is perceived through different classifications.

The Fertile Crescent: Cradle of Civilization

4. The Fertile Crescent: Cradle of Civilization

Complex civilization wasn't always the norm. In this lesson, we are going to check out the origins of civilization as we know it, and see where, when, and how this new system of living first began.

Heirs of the Sumerians: Babylonians, Hittites, Hurrians and Assyrians

5. Heirs of the Sumerians: Babylonians, Hittites, Hurrians and Assyrians

This lecture covers the history of Mesopotamia from the disintegration of the Sumerian Empire to the great Bronze Age collapse. We'll explore the destructive force of the Elamites and the Hittites as well as the imperial ambitions of the Babylonians, the Mittani and the Assyrians.

Hammurabi's Code: The Advent of Law, Prerequisites and Implications

6. Hammurabi's Code: The Advent of Law, Prerequisites and Implications

This lecture discusses the need for law and the benefits of a judicial system. Next, it reviews the history of early law codes, like those of Ur-Nammu and Hammurabi. Finally, we look at the implications of law for kings.

The Hebrews and Their Beliefs

7. The Hebrews and Their Beliefs

This lesson covers the Hebrews and their beliefs. We look at the core tenets of Judaism and explore some of the stories from the Torah. Finally, we see how the Hebrews' history of oppression impacted their religion and the world today.

Ancient Egypt in the Bronze Age

8. Ancient Egypt in the Bronze Age

This lecture first compares the natural features of the Nile valley to those of Mesopotamia, enumerating the advantages that geography offered the Egyptians. This is followed by a brief discussion of why Egyptian material culture survives while so much of Mesopotamian culture has been lost. The lecture ends with a a whirlwind tour through 3,000 years of Egyptian history broken up into traditional historical periods.

Iron vs. Bronze: History of Metallurgy

9. Iron vs. Bronze: History of Metallurgy

This lecture explores the transition from the bronze age to the iron age. The difficulties of working with iron are enumerated. The properties of iron and steel are compared to those of bronze. Finally the implications for this transition on civilization are considered.

Iron Age Empires: Neo-Babylonian, Neo-Assyrian and Persian Empires

10. Iron Age Empires: Neo-Babylonian, Neo-Assyrian and Persian Empires

This lesson is a survey of the three empires that emerged after the Bronze Age collapse. Parts of the survey are viewed from the perspective of the Israelites, who found themselves the playthings of powerful empires. The lecture focuses on a few specific rulers and their impact on their empires. It also traces patterns of imperial tactics throughout this period and region.

What is Paleolithic Archaeology?

11. What is Paleolithic Archaeology?

Today's lesson will seek to explain Paleolithic archaeology and its theories. In doing so, it will highlight the use of pebble tools as well as the nomadic hunter-gathering lifestyle of the Paleolithic man.

Understanding the Evolution of Human Tools

12. Understanding the Evolution of Human Tools

This lesson will seek to explain the use of tools during the Stone Ages. In doing this, it will highlight flake tools, Clovis points, Folsom points and the archaeological theories surrounding all three.

Stone Tool Industries of the Paleolithic Age

13. Stone Tool Industries of the Paleolithic Age

This lesson will explain the different stone industries of the Paleolithic Age. In doing so, it will highlight the Oldowan industry, the Acheulian industry, the Clactonian industry, and the Mousterian industry and their corresponding tools.

An Overview of Mesolithic Archaeology

14. An Overview of Mesolithic Archaeology

This lesson will seek to explain archaeological theories concerning the Mesolithic Age. In doing so, it will highlight microliths, the nomadic lifestyle, the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, and the use of radioactive carbon dating.

Understanding Neolithic Archaeology

15. Understanding Neolithic Archaeology

This lesson will explain archaeology's understanding of the Neolithic Age. In doing so, it will highlight the use of polished stone, the onset of agriculture, the Neolithic Revolution, and social stratification.

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