Oct
20
2010
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What is Rock Art?

rock artArchaeologically, “rock art” is a term applied to any human made marking on a ‘natural’ stone surface.  Relief carvings on a temple wall, for example, cannot be included regardless of how primitive they seem as the stone surface has been ‘prepared’ to receive the sculpture and is no longer ‘natural.’ Rock art is divided into [more...]

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Jul
25
2010
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Is Stonehenge original or restored?

constable-stonehengeNaturally, Stonehenge has experienced weathering and collapse due to the passage of time. But even if we disregard those changes, there is no way that Stonehenge can be regarded as a preserved “snapshot” of its original form. Stonehenge was not designed and built to the current layout. The design we see today is the result [more...]

Nov
03
2009
2

Do you want to be an archaeologist?

Dig at Jones Mill - courtesy Farther Along - CC-BYmortgagerefinancee.com Do you want to be an archaeologist? Think twice. Shovel bum, dig bum, hobo field crew are some of the names people call us. There are many drawbacks to making archaeological technician employment a full time occupation.  In most other sciences, research jobs live and die by whatever contract is being worked, and conditions [more...]

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Oct
05
2009
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What is Nighthawking?

A detectorist helps out on an archaeological dig (Photo by portableantiquities CC-BY-2.0)Nighthawking is a word used in the UK to described the illegal activity of trespassing on land and using metal detectors to remove finds from archaeological sites. The activity is often carried out at secretively at night, hence the use of the word. It is also described as a ‘heritage crime’, they are stealing the [more...]

Apr
23
2009
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What is carbon 14 dating?

600px-radiation_warning_symbolsvgRadio-carbon dating is a system for getting age estimates for organic materials. “Estimates” is the key word because there is an amount of uncertainty in the procedure. Each sample type has problems with its use for dating, including contamination and environmental effects. The reason the method works as well as it does, is because the [more...]

Feb
07
2009
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What are the pyramids near Mexico City?

Pyramid of the Sun near Mexico City The pyramids of Teotihuacán make up the most visited and well-known archaeological site in North America, and it’s popular with good reason. The larger of the pyramids, the Pyramid of the Sun, is the third tallest in the world, and the site is one of the most accessible sites in the hemisphere where visitors can [more...]

Jan
21
2009
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What is archaeoastronomy?

Mayan Observatory - courtesy ground.zero - CC-BYThroughout history, we have looked to the skies for a wide variety of reasons. Archaeoastronomy is a fairly new field of study which allows us to find out more about our ancestors history of viewing and trying to explain the cosmos. Archaeoastronomy is a combination of two words (archaeology and astronomy) and is the study [more...]

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Jan
15
2009
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What is Angkor Wat?

Angkor Wat, reflected - courtesy cornstaruk - CC-BYThe temples of Angkor were erected by the Khmer Civilization between 802 and 1220 AD.  From there the Khmer kings ruled over a region that reached from Vietnam, to China, to the Bay of Bengal. Angkor Wat, was built during the early 12th century by Suryavaram II.  It honors the Hindu god Vishnu and is [more...]

Jan
15
2009
1

What is dendrochronology?

Annular rings of an ancient tree - courtesy TheGhostWhoSnaps - CC-BYThe simple definition is that dendrochronology is the dating of past events and objects by means of tree growth rings. Each year a tree adds a layer of wood to its trunk and branches thus creating the annual rings we see when viewing a cross section. The climatic changes in a designated geographic areas can [more...]

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