| anthropology site | site map | bbs | contact | site news | |

Glossary-Cultural Anthropology

2007-10-28

Cultural Anthropology-related terms: Glossary-Cultural Anthropology

acculturation: cultural change that occurs in response to extended firsthand contacts between two or more previously autonomous groups.

acephalous society: a society without a political head such as a president, chief, or king.

achieved status: social standing and prestige reflecting the ability of an individual to acquire an established position in society as a result of individual accomplishments (cf. ascribed status).

adaptation: changes in gene frequencies resulting from selective pressures being placed upon a population by environmental factors; results in a greater fitness of the population to its ecological niche.

administrative system: a twentieth-century system of ownership in which land is owned and managed by the state; found in China, the Soviet Union, and some parts of Africa and Latin America.

affinal kin: persons related by marriage.

age grade: a group of people of the same sex and approximately the same age who share a set of duties and privileges.

age set: a group of people roughly the same age who pass through various age grades together.

alienation: the fragmentation of individuals' relations to their work, the things they produce, and the resources with which they produce them.

allomorphs: forms contained in morphemes that differ in sound but not in meaning.

allophones: sounds that belong to the same phoneme.

altruistic act: a behavior characterized by self-sacrifice that benefits others.

ambilineal descent: a descent ideology based on ties traced through either the paternal or the maternal line.

ambilocality: residence of a married couple with or near the kin of either husband or wife, as they choose.

animal husbandry: the breeding, care, and use of herd animals, such as sheep, goats, camels, cattle, and yaks.

animatism: belief in an impersonal supernatural force.

animism: belief in a soul, a spiritual essence that differs from the tangible, physical body.

anthropological linguistics: the scientific study of human communication within its sociocultural context and the origin and evolution of language.

anthropology: the study of humanity - our physical characteristics as animals, and our unique non-biological characteristics we call culture. The subject is generally broken down into three subdisciplines: biological (physical) anthropology, cultural (social) anthropology, and archaeology.

aphasia: a language disorder resulting from brain damage.

applied anthropology: the activity of professional anthropologists in programs that have as primary goals changes in human behavior believed to ameliorate contemporary social, economic, and technological problems.

archaeology: a subdiscipline of anthropology involving the study of the human past through its material remains.

arranged marriage: any marriage in which the selection of a spouse is outside the control of the bride and groom. art the process and products of applying skills to any activity that transforms matter, sound, or motion into forms considered aesthetically pleasing to people in a society.

ascribed status: social standing or prestige which is the result of inheritance or hereditary factors (cf. achieved status).

authority: the ability to exert influence because of one's personal prestige or the status of one's office.

autonomy: taking commands from only one authoritative source, oneself, and rejecting all attempts to override one's autonomy. Moral autonomy entails making the final decisions about what one should do. Political autonomy entails having the liberty to act upon the decision one has made.

avunculocal residence: residence of a married couple with or near a brother of the husband's mother who is usually a senior member of his matrilineage.

balanced reciprocity: gift giving that clearly carries the obligation of an eventual and roughly equal return.

band: a small territorially-based social group consisting of 2 or more nuclear families. A loosely integrated population sharing a sense of common identity but few specialized institutions.

bifurcation: a basis of kin classification that distinguishes the mother's side of the family from the father's side.

bilateral descent: a descent ideology in which individuals define themselves as being at the center of a group of kin composed more or less equally of kin from both paternal and maternal lines.

bilocal residence: regular alternation of a married couple's residence between the household or vicinity of the wife's kin and of the husband's kin.

biological imperatives: the basic human drives for food, rest, sexual satisfaction, and social contact.

biological species: a group of interbreeding populations that is reproductively isolated from other such groups.

bound morphemes: morphemes that must be attached to other morphemes to convey meaning.

bourgeoisie: a Marxian term referring to the middle class.

bride price: payment made by a man to the family from whom he takes a daughter in marriage.

bride service: service rendered by a man as payment to a family from whom he takes a daughter in marriage.

bride wealth: property given by the family of the groom to the family of the bride to compensate them for the loss of their daughter's services.

call system: a repertoire of sounds, each of which is produced in response to a particular situation.

carrying capacity: the point at or below which a population tends to stabilize.

caste: a social category in which membership is fixed at birth and usually unchangeable.

cattle complex: an East African socioeconomic system in which cattle represent social status as well as wealth.

census: a comprehensive survey of a population designed to reveal its basic demographic characteristics.

centralization: concentration of political and economic decisions in the hands of a few individuals or institutions.

ceremonial fund: the portion of the peasant budget allocated to religious and social activities.

chiefdom: a term used to describe a society that operates on the principle of ranking, i.e. differential social status. Different lineages are graded on a scale of prestige, calculated by how closely related one is to the chief. The chiefdom generally has a permanent ritual and ceremonial center, as well as being characterized by local specialization in crafts.

civilization: a term used by anthropologists to describe any society that has cities.

clan: a unilineal descent group usually comprising more than ten generations consisting of members who claim a common ancestry even though they cannot trace step-by-step their exact connection to a common ancestor.

class: a ranked group within a stratified society characterized by achieved status and considerable social mobility.

closed corporate community: a community that strongly emphasizes community identity and discourages outsiders from settling there by restricting land use to village members and prohibiting the sale or lease of property to outsiders.

code sheets: anthropologists' checklists of observed behaviors and inferred motivations for or attitudes toward them.

cognates: words so similar from one language to the next as to suggest that both are variants of a single ancestral prototype.

cognitive anthropology: the study of how peoples of different cultures acquire information about the world (cultural transmission), how they process that information and reach decisions, and how they act on that information in ways that other members of their cultures consider appropriate.

cognitive imperative: the human need to impose order on the world by mental processes.

cognitive processes: ways of perceiving and ordering the world.

collateral relatives: people to whom one is related through a connecting person.

communal cult: a society with groups of ordinary people who conduct religious ceremonies for the well-being of the total community.

community identity: an effort by speakers to identify themselves with a specific locality and to distinguish themselves from outsiders.

conflict: in its political manifestation, conflict exacts an ever-increasing toll in human lives and misery.

conjugal relationship: the relationship between spouses.

consanguineal kin: persons related by birth.

control: in the scientific method, a situation in which a comparison can be made between a specific situation and a second situation that differs, ideally, in only one aspect from the first.

controlled comparison: a method in which hypotheses are tested by comparing two or more populations that are similar or identical in most respects other than that which has been defined as the independent variable.

conversion: the use of a sphere of exchange for a transaction with which it is not generally associated.

corporate ownership control: of land and other productive resources by a group rather than by individuals.

corporateness: the sharing of group members in specific rights.

corvee: unpaid labor in lieu of taxation, usually on road construction and maintenance.

creation-science: the idea that scientific evidence can be and has been gathered for creation as depicted in the Bible. Mainstream scientists and the Supreme Court discount any scientific value of creation-science statements.

creole: a pidgin language than has evolved into a fully developed language, with a complete array of grammatical distinctions and a large vocabulary.

cross-cousins: mother's brothers' children and father's sisters' children.

cross-cultural research: (holocultural research) a method that uses a global sample of societies in order to test hypotheses.

cultural anthropology: a subdiscipline of anthropology concerned with the non-biological, behavioral aspects of society; i.e. the social, linguistic, and technological components underlying human behavior. Two important branches of cultural anthropology are ethnography (the study of living cultures) and ethnology (which attempts to compare cultures using ethnographic evidence). In Europe, it is referred to as social anthropology.

cultural determinism: the idea that except for reflexes all behavior is the result of learning.

cultural diffusion: the spreading of a cultural trait (e.g., material object, idea, or behavior pattern) from one society to another.

cultural ecology: a term devised by Julian Steward to account for the dynamic relationship between human society and its environment, in which culture is viewed as the primary adaptive mechanism.

cultural environment: the complex of products of human endeavor, including technology and social institutions.

cultural evolution: the theory that societal change can be understood by analogy with the processes underlying the biological evolution of species.

cultural materialism: the theory, espoused by Marvin Harris, that ideas, values, and religious beliefs are the means or products of adaptation to environmental conditions ("material constraints").

cultural relativism: the ability to view the beliefs and customs of other peoples within the context of their culture rather than one's own.

cultural universal: those general cultural traits found in all societies of the world. culture shock a psychological disorientation experienced when attempting to operate in a radically different cultural environment.

culture area: a region in which several groups have similar culture complexes.

culture of poverty: a self-perpetuating complex of escapism, impulse gratification, despair, and resignation; an adaptation and reaction of the poor to the marginal position in a class-stratified, highly individuated, capitalistic society.

culture: learned, nonrandom, systematic behavior and knowledge that can be transmitted from generation to generation.

deep structure: an abstract two-part mental model consisting of a noun phrase and a verb phrase, with the optional addition of an adverb or adverbial phrase.

demographic transition: a rapid increase in a society's population with the onset of industrialization, followed by a leveling off of the growth rate due to reduced fertility.

demography: the study of the processes which contribute to population structure and their temporal and spatial dynamics..

dependent variable: a variable that is affected by the independent variable.

descent group: a group of consanguineal kin united by presumed lineal descent from a common ancestor.

descent ideology: the concept of kinship as a basis of unambiguous membership in a group and possibly of property rights and political obligations.

descent relationship: the ties between mother and child and between father and child.

descent tracing: one's kinship connections back through a number of generations.

descriptive linguistics: that branch of anthropological linguistics that studies how languages are structured.

diachronic studies: use of descriptive data from one society or population that has been studied at many points in time.

differentiation: organization in separate units for various activities and purposes.

diffusion: when elements of one culture spread to another without wholesale dislocation or migration.

diglossia: the situation in which two forms of the same language are spoken by people in the same language community, depending on the social situation.

displacement (language) The ability to communicate about events at times and places other than those of their occurrence; enables a person to talk and think about things not directly in front of him or her.

divination: a practice in which an element of nature acts as a sign to provide supernatural information to the diviner.

division of labor: the set of rules found in all societies dictating how the day to day tasks are assigned to the various members of a society.

domestic cycle: the changes in household organization that result from a series of demographic events.

domestic mode of production: the organization of economic production and consumption primarily in the household.

domestication: the process by which people try to control the reproductive rates of animals and plants by ordering the environment in such a way as to favor certain species.

double descent: a system of descent in which individuals receive some rights and obligations from the father's side of the family and others from the mother's side.

dowry: payment made by the bride's family to the groom or to the groom's family.

dysfunction: the notion that some cultural traits can cause stress or imbalance within a cultural system.

ecclesiastical cult: a highly complex religious system headed by a full-time priest.

ecological determinism: a form of explanation in which it is implicit that changes in the environment determine changes in human society.

ecology: the study of the dynamic relationships of organisms to each other and the total environment.

economic class: a group that is defined by the economic position of its members in relation to the means of production in the society--the wealth and relative eocnomic control they may command.

economic system: the ideas and institutions that people draw upon and the behaviors in which they engage in order to secure resources to satisfy their needs and desires.

ecosystem: a group of organisms with specific relationships between themselves and a particular environment.

egalitarian society: a society that recognizes few differences in wealth, power, prestige, or status.

emic: a perspective in ethnography that uses the concepts and categories that are relevant and meaningful to the culture under analysis.

empirical: received through the senses (sight, touch, smell, hearing, taste), either directly or through extensions.

empiricism: reliance on observable and quantifiable data.

enculturation: the process by which human infants learn their culture.

endogamy: a rule requiring marriage within a specified social or kinship group.

entrepreneurs: individuals who are willing to take risks and break with traditional practices in order to make a profit.

entrepreneurship: economic innovation and risk taking.

environment: everything external to the organism.

equilibrium: a balance among the components of an ecosystem.

ethnicity: a basis for social categories that are rooted in socially perceived differences in national origin, language, and/or religion.

ethnobotany: a subdiscipline of anthropology that explores how societies perceive and categorize plants in their environment and how they use these plants for food, medicine, ritual, etc.

ethnocentrism: the tendency to judge the customs of other societies by the standards of one's own ethnographic present: describes the point in time at which a society or culture is frozen when ethnographic data collected in the field are published in a report.

ethnography: that aspect of cultural anthropology concerned with the descriptive documentation of living cultures.

ethnohistory: the study of ethnographic cultures through historical records.

ethnology: a subset of cultural anthropology concerned with the comparative study of contemporary cultures, with a view to deriving general principles about human society.

ethnomusicology: the study of music in a cross-cultural perspective.

etic: a perspective in ethnography that uses the concepts and categories of the anthropologist's culture to describe another culture.

evolution: the process by which small but cumulative changes in a species can, over time, lead to its transformation; may be divided into two categories: physical evolution (adaptive changes in biological makeup) and cultural evolution (adaptive changes in thought and behavior).

evolutionary ecology: the study of living organisms within the context of their total environment, with the aim of discovering how they have adapted.

exchange: the distribution of goods and services among members of a society.

exogamy: marriage outside a particular group with which one is identified.

extended family household: a multiple-family unit incorporating adults of two or more generations.

family household: a household formed on the basis of kinship and marriage.

fictive kin: persons such as godparents, compadres, "blood brothers," and old family friends whom children call "aunt" and "uncle".

field dependence: the tendency to see the field of vision as a single unit, with separate objects existing only as part of the whole.

field independence: the tendency to see the objects in one's field of vision as discrete units, distinct from the field as a whole.

fieldwork: the firsthand observation of human societies.

fission-fusion society: a constantly changing form of social organization whereby large groups undergo fission into smaller units and small units fuse into larger units in response to the activity of the group and the season of the year.

floodwater farming: the practice of planting crops in areas that are flooded every year in the rainy season, the floodwaters thus providing natural irrigation.

folktales: traditional stories found in a culture (generally transmitted orally) that may or may not be based on fact.

foraging: collecting wild plants and hunting wild animals for subsistence.

formal interview: an interview that consists of questions designed to elicit specific facts, attitudes, and opinions.

formal organization: a group that restricts membership and makes use of officially designated positions and roles, formal rules and regulations, and a bureaucratic structure.

formalism: a school of economic anthropology which argues that if the concepts of formal economic theory are broadened, they can serve as analytic tools for the study of any economic system.

fossil: the remains or traces of any ancient organism.

fraternal polyandry: marriage of one woman with a set of brothers.

free morphemes: morphemes that are complete words when standing alone.

freehold: private ownership of property.

French structuralism: the theoretical school founded by Claude Levi-Strauss that finds the key to cultural diversity in cognitive structures.

function: the contribution that a particular cultural trait makes to the longevity of the total culture.

functional-processual approach: see processual archaeology.

functionalism: the theory that all elements of a culture are functional in that they serve to satisfy culturally defined needs of the people in that society or requirements of the society as a whole.

gender: a cultural construct consisting of the set of distinguishable characteristics associated with each sex.

generalized reciprocity: informal gift giving for which no accounts are kept and no immediate or specific return is expected.

genetic determinism: the idea that all behavior, including very specific behavior, is biologically based, in contrast to cultural determinism.

genetics: the study of the mechanisms of heredity and biological variation.

grammar: the formal structure of a language, comprising phonology, morphology, and syntax.

grammatical structure: the rules for organizing elements of a language into meaningful utterances.

graphic arts: those forms of art such as painting and drawing.

great English vowel shift: a linguistic change during the Middle English period, when speakers of English began to alter the sounds of vowels, eventually changing all vowel sounds in the language.

group: a number of individuals who interact on a regular basis and have a sense of collective identity.

habitat: the specific area where a species lives.

habitus: as defined by Bourdieu, a culturally specific way not only of doing and speaking, but also of seeing, thinking and categorising. Habitus tends to be"naturalized" in that it is taken for granted or assimilated into the unconscious so that habitus is a necessary condition of action and shared understanding.

hafted: attached with a binding to a shaft or handle (e.g. a "hafted knife").

half-life: the time taken for half the quantity of a radioactive isotope in a sample to decay (see also radioactive decay).

hammerstone: a natural rounded, largely unmodified pebble used as an unhafted hammer.

hand-axe: a Paleolithic stone tool usually made by modifying (chipping or flaking) a natural pebble.

hand-level: a small, simple, hand-held surveying instrument for establishing horizontal lines-of-sight over short distances.

hand-maul: a carefully manufactured unhafted stone hammer.

haplotype: a set of genes that determine different antigens but are closely enough linked to be inherited as a unit; also : the antigenic phenotype determined by a haplotype.

hard palate: the bony roof of the mouth that separates the mouth from the nasal cavity, permitting the animal to breathe and chew at the same time.

Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium: a mathematical model of genetic equilibrium: p2 + 2pq + q2 = 1.

harem: a subunit of a larger social group consisting of a male associated with two or more females.

harpoon head (point): the arming tip of a harpoon. generally classifiable into 2 main forms - toggling and barbed - each of which may be composite or single-piece, and may or may not carry additional cutting-blades or side-blades. Always have line-guards or other means of line attachment.

harpoon: a thrown or thrust spear-like weapon armed with a detachable point fastened to a retrieving line.

hearth: a fireplace, often circular and may be unlined, rock or clay-lined, or rock-filled.

heat treatment: an aboriginal process by which the flaking properties of a rock were improved by controlled heating in a fire.

heel-toe stride: a method of progression characteristic of humans in which the heel strikes the ground first and the person pushes off on the big toe.

hegemony: preponderant influence or authority of one individual or social group over another. heliocentric: a sun-centered model of the universe.

hematite: a natural iron oxide which was used as a reddish pigment.

heme: a constituent of the hemoglobin molecule that consists of a globin and four home units. Each heme unit contains an atom of iron.

hemochorial placenta: the type of placenta found in most primates in which materials pass between the maternal and fetal bloodstreams through a single vessel wall.

hemoglobin A2: a normal variant of hemoglobin A that consists of two alpha and two delta chains and is found in small quantity in normal human blood.

hemoglobin A: a normal adult hemoglobin whose globin unit consists of two alpha and two beta chains.

hemoglobin C: an abnormal variant of hemoglobin A that differs from the latter in having a single amino acid substitution on the beta chain at the same position as the substitution producing hemoglobin S.

hemoglobin F: a normal variant of hemoglobin, known as fetal hemoglobin, that consists of two alpha and two gamma chains and is found in the fetus and early infant. It is gradually replaced by hemoglobin A.

hemoglobin S: an abnormal variant of hemoglobin A that differs from the latter in having a single amino acid substitution on the beta chain; known as sickle hemoglobin.

hemoglobin: the red pigment in erythrocytes that carries oxygen to and carbon dioxide from body tissues.

hemolytic disease: disease involving the destruction of blood cells.

hemophilia A recessive: x-linked trait characterized by excessive bleeding due to faulty clotting mechanism.

henge: literally, "hanging rock," this term is often applied to the Neolithic stone monoliths found in Britian.

herd: among geladas, a large social unit consisting of several bands that come together under very good grazing conditions.

hermeneutics: formal study of methods of interpretation. Following Gadamer, the hermeneutical process is often regarded as involving complex interaction between the interpreting subject and the interpreted object.

heterodont dentition: the regional differentiation of teeth by function.

heterozygosity: the quality of being heterozygous. Having two different alleles of a particular gene.

high-altitude mountains sickness: a condition that includes shortness of breath, physical and mental fatigue, rapid pulse rate, headaches; occurs in persons not acclimatized to high altitudes.

higher taxa: taxa above the species level, such as family, order, class, phylum, and kingdom

hindbrain: the posterior of three swellings in the hollow nerve cord of the primitive vertebrate brain; formed by a thickening of the wall of the nerve cord.

hinge-fracture: a weak or inward-directed blow against cryptocrystalline or fine-grained rock will produce a flake which breaks off (or "hinges") halfway along, without carrying through to a thin tapered end.

historic period: the time after European contact, or the beginning of written recording.

historical archaeology: the archaeological study of historically documented cultures. In North America, research is directed at colonial and post-colonial settlement, analogous to the study of medieval and post-medieval archaeology in Europe.

historical linguistics: the study of how languages change over time.

historical particularism: a detailed descriptive approach to anthropology associated with Franz Boas and his students, and designed as an alternative to the broad generalizing approach favored by anthropologists such as Morgan and Tylor.

historiographic approach: a form of explanation based primarily on traditional descriptive historical frameworks.

hoards: deliberately buried groups of valuables or prized possessions, often in times of conflict or war, and which, for one reason or another, have not been reclaimed. Metal hoards are a primary source of evidence for the European Bronze Age.

holism: the philosophical view that no complex entity can be considered to be only the sum of its parts; as a principle of anthropology, the assumption that any given aspect of human life is to be studied with an eye to its relation to other aspects of human life.

holocene: the post-glacial period, beginning about 10,000 B.P.

holocultural research: see cross-cultural comparison.

home base: a location to which males and females return in human societies.

home range: the area occupied by an animal or animal group.

homeostasis: a term used in systems thinking to describe the action of negative feedback processes in maintaining the system at a constant equilibrium state.

hominid: a member of the family Hominidae, which includes humans.

Hominidae: family of the superfamily Hominoidea that includes humans.

hominoid: a member of the superfamily Hominoidea, which includes apes and humans.

Hominoidea: superfamily of the suborder Anthropoidea that includes the apes and humans.

Homo sapiens: the human species.

homodont dentition: situation in which all teeth are basically the same in structure, although they may differ in size, as is found in reptiles.

homologous chromosomes: chromosomes of the same pair containing the same genes but not necessarily the same alleles.

homology: a similarity due to inheritance from a common ancestor.

homoplasy: a similarity that is not homologous. Homoplasy can arise from parallelism, convergence, analogy, and chance.

homozygous dominant: having two dominant alleles of the same gene.

homozygous recessive: having two recessive alleles of the same gene.

homozygous: having two like alleles of a particular gene; homozygous dominant when the allele is dominant and homozygous recessive when the allele is recessive.

horizon: (1) a discrete regional cultural period or level of cultural development marked by some easily recognizable criterion or trait. (2) in soil-science terminology, a natural developmental zone in a soil profile such as the "A-horizon".

horizontal angle: in mapping, the angle of sight measured on the level or horizontal plane.

horizontal circle: with major surveying instruments, the graduated horizontal table around which the sighting telescope revolves; used to measure the horizontal angle.

horizontal datum: a base measuring point ("0.0 point") used as the origin of rectangular coordinate systems for mapping or for maintaining excavation provenience.

horizontal distance: the measurement of distance on a true level plane.

horizontal migration: a nomadic pattern characterized by regular movement over a large area in search of grass; also called plains migration.

horizontal provenience: the location of an object on a two-dimensional plane surface.

hormones: complex molecules produced by the endocrine glands that regulate many bodily functions and processes.

horticulture: a simple form of agriculture based on the working of small plots of land without draft animals, plows, or irrigation; also called extensive agriculture.

house-pit: an aboriginally excavated house floor.

household: a domestic residential group whose members live together in intimate contact, rear children, share the proceeds of labor and other resources held in common, and in general cooperate on a day-to-day basis.

human factors research: see ergonomics.

Human Relations Area Files: (HRAF) a compilation of reports on 330 societies that are used for cross-cultural research.

hunter-gatherers: a collective term for the members of small-scale mobile or semi-sedentary societies, whose subsistence is mainly focused on hunting game and gathering wild plants and fruits; organizational structure is based on bands with strong kinship ties.

hunting and gathering: involves the systematic collection of vegetable foods, hunting of game, and fishing.

hybrid inviability: a form of reproductive isolation in which a mating between two species gives rise to a hybrid that is fertile but nevertheless does not leave any offspring.

hybrid sterility: a form of reproductive isolation in which a hybrid of two species is sterile.

hybrid: the result of a cross or mating between two different kinds of parents.

Hylobatidae: family of the superfamily Hominoidea that includes the lesser apes, consisting of the gibbons and siamang.

hypercalcemia: a condition characterized by high levels of calcium in the blood, caused by excessive amounts of vitamin D; results in sluggish nerve reflexes and calcification of soft tissues.

hyperplasia: growth by virtue of an increase in the total number of cells resulting from mitosis.

hypertrophy: growth by virtue of an increase in the size of cells.

hypothesis: a statement that stipulates a relationship between a phenomenon for which the researcher seeks to account and one or more other phenomena.

hypothetico-deductive explanation: a form of explanation based on the formulation of hypotheses and the establishment from them by deduction of consequences which can then be tested against the archaeological data.

hypoxia: low oxygen pressure due to being at high altitude.
ice cores: borings taken from the Arctic and Antarctic polar ice caps, containing layers of compacted ice useful for the reconstruction of paleoenvironments and as a method of absolute dating.

ice-wedge: a vertical wedge-shaped vein of ground ice found in permafrost areas. causes "polygonal ground" (see periglacial phenomena) and may result in severe disturbance of archaeological sites.

iconography: an important component of cognitive archaeology, this involves the study of artistic representations which usually have an overt religious or ceremonial significance; e.g. individual deities may be distinguished, each with a special characteristic, such as corn with the corn god, or the sun with a sun goddess etc.

idealist explanation: a form of explanation that lays great stress on the search for insights into the historical circumstances leading up to the event under study in terms primarily of the ideas and motives of the individuals involved.

ilium: the thin, bladelike section superior to the hip socket on the innominate bone.

immunological comparison: a method of molecular biology that compares molecules by use of antigen antibody reactions.

immunological distance (ID): a measure of the strength of an antigen-antibody reaction that is indicative of the evolutionary distance separating the populations being studied.

in situ: archaeological items are said to be "in situ " when they are found in the location where they were last deposited.

incest taboo: the prohibition of sexual intimacy between people defined as close relatives.

incest: sexual intercourse between closely related persons.

inclined sights: in mapping, a vertically angled line of sight.

inclusion: an intentional cultural association, such as grave-goods with a burial.

inclusive fitness: an individual's own fitness plus his or her effect on the fitness of any relative.

incomplete penetrance: the situation in which an allele that is expected to be expressed is not always expressed.

increment borer: a hand-operated coring device for obtaining tree-ring samples.

independent assortment: a Mendelian principle which states that differing traits are inherited independently of each other. It applies only to genes on different chromosomes.

independent family household: a single-family unit that resides by itself, apart from relatives or adults of other generations.

independent variable: the variable that can cause change in other variables.

index fossil: a paleospecies that had a very wide geographical distribution but existed for a relatively short period of time, either becoming extinct or evolving into something else.

index: a spirit-bubble leveling device on the vertical circle of major surveying instruments.

indirect percussion: a technique for flaking stone artifacts by interposing a bone or antler punch between the hammer and the raw materials. Allows greater control than direct percussion flaking.

individualistic cult: the least complex form of religious organization in which each person is his or her own religious specialist.

Indriidae: family of Madagascar prosimians that includes the indri, sifaka, and avahi.

induced mutation: a mutation caused by human made conditions.

induction: a method of reasoning in which one proceeds by generalization from a series of specific observations so as to derive general conclusions (cf. deduction).

inductively coupled plasma emission spectrometry (ICPS): based on the same basic principles as OES (optical emission spectrometry), but the generation of much higher temperatures reduces problems of interference and produces more accurate results.

Industrial Age: a cultural stage characterized by the first use of complex machinery, factories, urbanization, and other economic and general social changes from strictly agricultural societies.

industrial melanism: a situation in which the frequency of alleles for dark color increases in relation to alleles for light color in response to changes in the environment due to pollution caused by increasing industrialization.

industrial society: a society consisting of largely urban populations that engage in manufacturing, commerce, and services.

industrialism: a form of social organization in which the population's needs for food, manufactured products, transportation, and many services are met through the use of machines powered largely by fossil fuel.

industry: all the artifacts in a site that are made from the same material, such as the bone industry.

infantile: the period in an individual's life cycle from birth to the eruption of the first permanent teeth.

informal interview: an unstructured question-and-answer session in which the informant is encouraged to follow his or her own train of thought, wherever it may lead.

informant: a person who provides information about his or her culture to the ethnographic fieldworker.

infrared absorption spectroscopy: a technique used in the characterization of raw materials, it has been particularly useful in distinguishing ambers from different sources: the organic compounds in the amber absorb different wavelengths of infrared radiation passed through them.

innominate bones: a pair of bones that, with the sacrum section of the vertebral column, make up the pelvis. The innominates join in the front of the pelvis at the pubic symphysis.

innovation: the process of adopting a new thing, idea, or behavior pattern into a culture.

insectivore: an animal that eats primarily insects; also a member of the mammalian order Insectivora.

instinct: a genetically-determined pattern of behavior that is characteristic of a species and is often a response to specific internal or environmental stimuli.

institutions: a society's recurrent patterns of activity, such as religion, art, a kinship system, law, and family life.

instrument height: the elevation of the line-of-sight of a surveying instrument above the immediate ground surface.

instrument position (ip): the location at which a surveying instrument is established to obtain a sighting.

instrument: a general term for major optical surveying equipment, including transits, alidades, and surveyor's levels.

intensification: an increase in the product derived from a unit of land or labor.

intensive agriculture: a form of agriculture that involves the use of draft animals or tractors, plows, and often some form of irrigation.

interaction sphere: a regional or inter-regional exchange system, e.g. the Hopewell interaction sphere.

intergenerational competition: a system whereby mating between generations is prevented by forcing the young out of the group when they reach sexual maturity.

interglacial: a period of warming between two glacials.

intermediate expression: the situation in which a heterozygous genotype is associated with a phenotype that is more or less intermediate between the phenotypes controlled by the two homozygous genotypes.

intermembral index: the length of the humerus and radius relative to the length of the femur and tibia.

intron: the DNA sequence in a eukaryotic gene that is not translated into a protein.

invention: any new thing, idea, or way of behaving that emerges from within a society.

inventory of resources: a catalogue of the kinds of materials the people under investigation take from their environment in order to clothe, house, and feed themselves; the amount of time they spend procuring these materials; the quantity of food they collect or produce; and the distribution of the research population per unit of land.

inversion: a form of chromosome aberration in which parts of a chromosome break and reunite in a reversed order. No genetic material is lost or gained, but the positions of the involved alleles are altered.

Iron Age: a cultural stage characterized by the use of iron as the main metal.

ischial callosity: a thickening of the skin overlying a posterior section of the pelvis (ischial tuberosity); found in the Old World monkeys and some apes.

isostatic uplift: rise in the level of the land relative to the sea caused by the relaxation of Ice Age conditions. It occurs when the weight of ice is removed as temperatures rise, and the landscape is raised up to form raised beaches.

isotopic analysis: an important source of information on the reconstruction of prehistoric diets, this technique analyzes the ratios of the principal isotopes preserved in human bone; in effect the method reads the chemical signatures left in the body by different foods. Isotopic analysis is also used in characterization studies.

jasper: a colloquial term for some varieties of chert. Usually refers to dark red or dull-green, fine-grained, semi-translucent banded materials.

jati: local subcastes found in Hindu India.

joint family household: a complex family unit formed through polygyny or polyandry or through the decision of married siblings to live together m the absence of their parents.

juncture: the linkage or separation of syllables by pauses.

juvenile: the period in an individual's life cycle that lasts from the eruption of the first to the eruption of the last permanent teeth.

karyotype: the standardized classification and arrangement of photographed chromosomes.

kill-site: a type of special activity site where large game animals were killed and butchered.

kin selection: the process whereby an individual's genes are selected by virtue of that individual's increasing the chances that his or her kin's genes will be propagated into the next generation.

kin terminology: the terms that systematically designate distinctions between relatives of different categories.

kindred: a collection of bilateral kin.

kingdom: a major division of living organisms. All organisms are placed into one of five kingdoms: monera, Protista, Fungi, Planti, and Animalia.

Klinefelter's syndrome: a sex-chromosome count of XXY; phenotypically male, tall stature, sterile.

knuckle walking: semierect quadrupedalism, found in chimpanzees and the gorilla, in which the upper parts of the body are supported by the knuckles rather than the palms.

kula ring: a system of ceremonial, non-competitive, exchange practiced in Melanesia to establish and reinforce alliances. Malinowski's study of this system was influential in shaping the anthropological concept of reciprocity.

labret: a "cuff-link" or pulley-shaped object of stone, bone or wood, inserted in a perforation of the lower lip as an ornament or status symbol by some aboriginal peoples.

lactation: the production of milk by a female mammal

lacustrine deposits: lake sediments; usually fine laminated silts and clays.

laminae: very thin strata.

LANDSAT: see remote sensing.

landscape archaeology: the study of individual features including settlements.

language: a highly flexible and complex system of communication that allows for the exchange of detailed information about both interior and exterior conditions. As a creative and open system, new signals may be added and new ideas transmitted.

lateralization: the phenomenon in which the two hemispheres of the brain specialize in regard to different functions.

law: a rule of social conduct enforced by sanctions administered by a particular source of legitimate power.

leaching: a natural process by which chemicals and minerals are transported downwards through a soil-profile.

legal subdivision system: the method of describing parcels of land in terms of "Township, Range, Section, and Quarter Section".

legitimacy: the right to rule on the basis of recognized principles.

leister: a composite fishing spear made up of barbed side-pieces surrounding an unbarbed central point.

Lemuridae:Madagascar prosimian family that includes the femurs.

lenticular: "lens-shaped". any object with a biconvex cross-section.

lesser apes: the gibbons and siamang of Asia.

lethals: defects that cause premature death.

leukocyte: a white blood cell; functions to destroy foreign substances.

level bag: a bag containing excavated materials from a single level of a single excavation unit.

level notes: written observations on all significant characteristics of an excavated level.

level: the basic vertical subdivision of an excavation unit. May be natural. arbitrary or contoured.

leveling mechanism: a social or economic practice that serves to lessen differentials in wealth.

levirate: a social custom under which a man has both the right to marry his dead brother's widow and the obligation to provide for her.

lexicon: in linguistics, the total number of meaningful units {such as words and affixes) of a language.

lexicostatistics: the study of linguistic divergence between two languages, based on changes in a list of common vocabulary terms and the sharing of common root words (see also glottochronology).

lexigram: a symbol that represents a word.

lichenometry: the study of lichen growth as an aid to dating surface rock features and rock art.

life expectancy: the length of time that a person can, on the average, expect to live.

life span: the theoretical, maximum age.

light-table: a glass-topped table illuminated from underneath, used in the laboratory photography of archaeological specimens.

lignite: a soft shiny black variety of coal, aboriginally used to manufacture decorative objects.

line-guard: a device to fasten the retrieving line to a harpoon point.

line-level: a small spirit-bubble designed for suspension on a string Used in archaeology to determine horizontal lines over short distances.

lineage: a unilineal descent group composed of people who trace their genealogies through specified links to a common ancestor.

lineal relatives: direct ascendants and descendants.

lingua franca: any language used as a common tongue by people who do not speak one another's native language.

linguistic anthropology: a subdivision of anthropology that is concerned primarily with unwritten languages (both prehistoric and modern), with variation within languages, and with the social uses of language; traditionally divided into three branches: descriptive linguistics, the systematic study of the way language is constructed and used; historical linguistics, the study of the origin of language in general and of the evolution of the languages people speak today; and sociolinguistics, the study of the relationship between language and social relations.

linguistics: the scientific study of language.

linkage: the association of genes on the same chromosome.

linked changes: those changes brought about in a culture when other (interconnected) parts of that same culture undergo change.

lipids: the class of compounds that includes fats, oils, and waxes.

lithic industry: that part of an archaeological artifact assemblage manufactured of stone.

lithic technology: the process of manufacturing tools etc. from stone. Most frequently refers to stone flaking.

lithic: of, or pertaining to stone.

lithology: the identification and study of rocks.

lithosphere: the hard outer layer of the earth.

living floor: the horizontal layer of an archaeological site that was once the surface occupied by a prehistoric group. It is identifed both by the fact that it is hard-packed and also by the artifacts located on its surface.

local races: subdivisions of geographical races. One type consists of partially isolated groups, usually remnants of once larger units. The second type includes fairly large subdivisions that contain a degree of variation within them.

locality: a very large site or site-area composed of 2 or more concentrations or clusterings of cultural remains.

loess sediments: deposits formed of a yellowish dust of silt-sized particles blown by the wind and redeposited on land newly deglaciated, or on sheltered areas.

logistics: the process of transporting, supplying and supporting a field project.

long-house: the long multi-family dwellings of the Iroquois area.

Lorisidae: prosimian family that includes the lords, potto, angwantibo, and galago.

low energy budget: an adaptive strategy by which a minimum of energy is used to extract sufficient resources from the environment for survival.

lumbar curve: a curve that forms in the lumbar region of the spine in humans.

macroblade: a large blade, greater than 5 cm in length.

macroevolution: "large-scale" evolution; the evolution of new species and higher taxa.

macrofamily: classificatory term in linguistics, referring to a group of language families showing sufficient similarities to suggest that they are genetically related (e.g. the Nostratic macrofamily is seen by some linguists as a unit embracing the Indo-European, Afro-Asiatic, Uralic, Altaic, and Kartvelian language families).

macula: the central area of the retina, consisting of cones only.

magnetometer: an electronic device for detecting small anomalies in the earth's magnetic field. Can be used to explore certain subsurface characteristics of an archaeological site prior to excavation.

mammals: members of the class Mammalia, a class of the subphylum Vertebrata, that are characterized by a constant level of activity independent of external temperature and by mammary glands, hair or fur, heterodonty, and other features.

mammary glands: glands found in mammalian females that produce milk.

mandibular symphysis: the area where the two halves of the mandible join together.

mandibular torus: a thickening of bone on the inside of the mandible.

Manichean: a believer in religious or philosophical dualism, from a religious dualism originating in Persia in the third century A.D. and teaching the release of the spirit from matter through strict self-denial. mano: a hand-held stone used for grinding vegetable foods on a stone slab or "metate".

manuport: an unmodified, natural rock, brought into a site by human agency, that shows no sign of alteration.

map-measure: a small wheeled device for measuring map distances.

mapping: drawing a map showing the physical features of a community; usually an early step in a field project.

marasmus: a form of protein-caloric malnutrition caused by a diet deficient in both protein and carbohydrates.

marginal people: those individuals who are not in the mainstream of their society.

market exchange: a mode of exchange which implies both a specific location for transactions and the sort of social relations where bargaining can occur. It usually involves a system of price-making through negotiation.

marsupials: Members of the infraclass Metatheria of the class Mammalia. The young are born at a relatively less developed stage than those of placental mammals; after birth, the young animal attaches to a mammary gland in the pouch, where it continues to grow and develop.

Marxist anthropology: based principally on the writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, this posits a materialist model of societal change. Change within a society is seen as the result of contradictions arising between the forces of production (technology) and the relations of production (social organization). Such contradictions are seen to emerge as a struggle between distinct social classes. Current Marxist anthropology focuses on the transformation of social orders and the relationships between conflict and cultural change.

masseter: a muscle of chewing that arises on the mandible and inserts on the zygomatic arch of the skull.

material culture: the buildings, tools, and other artifacts that includes any material item that has had cultural meaning ascribed to it, past and present.

matriarchy: a society ruled by females.

matriclan: a group that claims but cannot trace their descent through the female line from a common female ancestor.

matrifocal family household: a family unit based solely on the bond between a mother and her children.

matrifocal: centered on the mother; said of a family situation common to the urban poor worldwide in which the woman and her relationships with her children and her female kin form the core of family life.

matrilineage: a lineage whose members trace their genealogies through specified female links to a common female ancestor.

matrilineal descent group: a unilineal descent group in which membership is inherited through the maternal line.

matrilineal descent: descent traced through the female line.

matrilocal residence: residence of a married couple with or near the wife's kin.

matrix: the physical material within which artifacts are embedded or supported.

maximum parsimony principle: the principle that the most accurate phylogenetic tree is one that is based on the fewest changes in the genetic code.

Maya calendar: a method employed by the Maya of measuring the passage of time, comprising two separate calendar systems: (1) the Calendar Round, used for everyday purposes; (2) the Long Count, used for the reckoning of historical dates.

means of production in the society--the wealth and relative economic control they may command

mechanical isolation: a form of reproductive isolation that occurs because of an incompatibility in structure of the male and female sex organs.

mechanical solidarity: a type of social integration based on mutuality of interests found in those societies with little division of labor. modernization the process of social change whereby traditional societies take on the characteristics of more industrialized societies.

mechanization: the replacement of human and animal labor by mechanical devices.

megafauna: all animals weighing more than 100 pounds

megalithic yard: a metrological unit (c. 2.72 ft) proposed by Alexander Thom, and argued by him, on statistical grounds, as the standard unit of length used in the construction of megalithic monuments in Britain and France.

meiosis: the form of cell division occurring in specialized tissues in the testes and ovary that leads to the production of gametes.

melanin: the brown-black pigment found in the skin, eyes, and hair.

melanocyte: a specialized skin cell that produces the pigment melanin.

menarche: first menstruation.

Mendelian population: see reproductive population.

mental foramen: a small opening in the mandible through which blood vessels and nerves pass.

mercantile system: a system of ownership common in Europe and elsewhere after the eighteenth century in which land became the private property of individual owners.

Mesolithic: an Old World chronological period beginning around 10,000 years ago, situated between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic, and associated with the rise to dominance of microliths.

messenger RNA (mRNA): a form of RNA that copies the DNA code in the nucleus and transports it to the ribosome.

metacentric chromosome: a chromosome in which the centromere appears roughly in the center and the two arms are roughly the same length.

metal detector: an electronic instrument which detects buried metallic objects by inducing and measuring an electromagnetic field.

metallographic examination: a technique used in the study of early metallurgy involving the microscopic examination of a polished section cut from an artifact. which has been etched so as to reveal the metal structure.

methodological individualism (or individualistic method): approach to the study of societies which assumes that thoughts and decisions do have agency, and that actions and shared institutions can be interpreted as the products of the decisions and actions of individuals.

microblade core: the nucleus from which micro-blades were manufactured. Usually a small barrel or conical shaped stone artifact with a flat top and one or more fluted surfaces left as scars from the removal of the microblades.

microblade: a small prismatic parallel-sided flake struck from a prepared core. Microblades were probably inserted end-to-end in a slotted bone or antler shaft to provide a continuous cutting edge for points or knives.

microenvironment: a specific set of physical, biological, and cultural factors immediately surrounding the organism.

microevolution: "small-scale" evolution within a population over relatively short periods of time.

microfaunal remains: very small animal remains, such as rodent bones, tiny bone fragments, insects, small mollusks, foraminifera, etc., discovered in an archaeological site.

microfloral remains: very small plant materials such as seeds, pollen, spores, phytoliths etc. discovered in an archaeological site. Microfauna and microflora are extremely important in paleoenvironmental re-construction.

microhabitat: a very specific habitat in which a population is found.

microlith: a tiny stone tool, characteristic of the Mesolithic period, many of which were probably used as barbs.

microraces: arbitrary divisions of large local races.

microwear analysis: the study of the patterns of wear or damage on the edge of stone tools, which provides valuable information on the way in which the tool was used.

midbrain: the middle of three swellings in the hollow nerve cord of the primitive vertebrate brain; formed by a thickening of the wall of the nerve cord.

midden: the accumulation of debris and domestic waste products resulting from human use. The long-term disposal of refuse can result in stratified deposits, which are useful for relative dating.

Middle Range Theory: a conceptual framework linking raw archaeological data with higher-level generalizations and conclusions about the past which can be derived from this evidence.

Midwestern taxonomic system: a framework devised by McKern (1939) to systematize sequences in the Great Plains area of the United States, using the general principle of similarities between artifact assemblages.

mitochondria: bodies found in the cytoplasm that convert the energy in the chemical bonds of organic molecules into ATP.

mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA): a double-stranded loop of DNA found within the mitochondria. There can be as few as one or as many as several hundred mitochondria per cell, and each mitochondrion possesses between four and ten mtDNA loops.

mitosis: the form of cell division whereby one celled organisms divide and whereby body cells divide in growth and replacement.

MNI (minimum number of individuals): a method of assessing species abundance in faunal assemblages based on a calculation of the smallest number of animals necessary to account for all the identified bones. Usually calculated from the most abundant bone or tooth from either the left or right side of the animal.

mobiliary art: a term used for the portable art of the Ice Age, comprising engravings and carvings on small objects of stone, antler, bone, and ivory.

model: a system of hypothetical principles that represents the characters of a phenomenon and from which predictions can be made.

modified brachiation: a slower and more cautious form of brachiation; seen in the orangutan.

modifying gene: a gene that alters the expression of another gene.

moiety: one of the two subdivisions of a society with a dual organizational structure.

mold: a cavity left in firm sediment by the decayed body of an organism.

molecular biology: the comparative study of molecules.

molecule: a unit composed of two or more atoms linked by a chemical bond.

monkey: any member of the superfamilies Ceboidea (New World monkeys) and Cercopithecoidea (Old World monkeys).

monocausal explanation: the attribution of one cause to the existence of a phenomenon.

monogamous family: a social group, found among lesser apes and other primates, consisting of a single mated pair and their young offspring.

monogamy: an exclusive union of one man and one woman.

monophyletic taxon: a taxon containing species that are all descended from the same single common ancestor.

monotheism: belief in one god.

monotremes: members of the subclass Prototheria of the class Mammalia; the egg-laying mammals.

monozygotic twins: identical twins; twins derived from a single zygote.

moraine: a glacial deposit (till) with a distinctive topographic expression. "Terminal moraines" mark episodes of stability or re-advance in a Period of overall glacial retreat. Moraines appear as hill or ridges marking original glacial limits.

moral economy approach: views peasants as being less concerned with individual profit than with the security of knowing they will be protected in adversity.

morphemes: the smallest units of speech that convey meaning.

morphology: the study of structure, including the system by which speech units are combined to form meaningful words.

mosaic evolution: the concept that major evolutionary changes tend to ttake place in stages, not all at once. Human evolution shows a mosaic pattern in the fact that small canine teeth, large brains, and tool use did not all evolve at the same time. Mossbauer spectroscopy: a technique used in the analysis of artifact composition, particularly iron compounds in pottery. It involves the measurement of the gamma radiation absorbed by the iron nuclei, which provides information on the particular iron compounds in the sample. and hence on the conditions of firing when the pottery was being made.

mounting: a behavioral pattern whereby one animal jumps on the posterior area of a second animal as a part of the act of copulation or as a dominance display.

multi-component: a site is said to be multi-component when it shows evidence of 2 or more distinctive cultural occupations.

multi-dimensional scaling (MDSCAL): a multivariate statistical technique which aims to develop spatial structure from numerical data by estimating the differences and similarities between analytical units.

multicausal explanation: the attribution of more than one cause to the existence of a phenomenon.

multilineal evolutionism: an anthropological approach that focuses on the development of individual cultures or populations without insisting that all follow the same evolutionary pattern.

multimale group: a social unit consisting of many adult males and adult females.

multiple-allele series: a situation in which a gene has more than two alleles.

multiplication-of-species model: the idea that a generalized species can give rise to a large number of new species, sometimes rapidly.

multiplier effect: a term used in systems thinking to describe the process by which changes in one field of human activity (subsystem) sometimes act to promote changes in other fields (subsystems) and in turn act on the original subsystem itself. An instance of positive feedback, it is thought by some to be one of the primary mechanisms of societal change.

multivariate explanation: explanation of culture change, e.g. the origin of the state, which, in contrast to monocausal approaches, stresses the interaction of several factors operating simultaneously.

mutation: an alteration of the genetic material.

myth: stories that are told about the deeds that supernatural beings played in the creation of human beings and the universe itself.

native copper: metallic copper found naturally in nuggets, which can be worked by hammering, cutting, and annealing.

natural levels (also "stratigraphic levels"): an excavation level defined by the original stratigraphic units of the site.

natural selection: the process whereby members of a species who have more surviving offspring than others pass their traits on to the next generation, whereas the less favored do not do so to the same degree.

negative eugenics: a method of eliminating deleterious alleles from the gene pool by encouraging persons with such alleles not to reproduce.

negative feedback: in systems thinking, this is a process which acts to counter or "dampen" the potentially disruptive effects of external inputs; it acts as a stabilizing mechanism (see homeostasis).

negative reciprocity: an exchange between enemies or strangers in which each side tries to get the better end of the bargain.

neocortex: a gray covering on the cerebrum of some vertebrates; the site of higher mental processes.

Neolithic Revolution: a term coined by V.G. Childe in 1941 to describe the origin and consequences of farming (i.e. the development of stock raising and agriculture), allowing the widespread development of settled village life.

Neolithic: an Old World chronological period characterized by the development of agriculture and, hence, an increasing emphasis on sedentism.

neolocal residence: residence of a married couple in a new household established apart from both the husband's and the wife's kin.

neoteny hypothesis: a theory of evolutionary change which holds that organisms in a group maintain younger characteristics of ancestral groups while becoming sexually mature during what was previously an infantile or juvenile stage of development; also, the retarded development of specific characteristics.

nephrite: a hard fibrous green to white rock often used for the manufacture of adze-blades. Commonly called jade.

net sinker (also "net weight", "sinker"): a rock used to submerge a fishing net. May be grooved, notched or perforated.

network: a web of social ties of various kinds.

neutron activation analysis (NAA): a method used in the analysis of artifact composition which depends on the excitation of the nuclei of the atoms of a sample's various elements, when these are bombarded with slow neutrons. The method is accurate to about plus or minus 5 percent.

neutron scattering: a remote sensing technique involving the placing of a probe into the soil in order to measure the relative rates of neutron flows through the soil. Since stone produces a lower count rate than soil. buried features can often be detected.

New Archaeology: a new approach advocated in the 1960s which argued for an explicitly scientific framework of archaeological method and theory, with hypotheses rigorously tested, as the proper basis for explanation rather than simply description (see also processual archaeology).

New World semibrachiation: a locomotor pattern involving extensive use of the hands and prehensile tail to suspend and propel the body; seen in species otherwise quadrupedal.

niche: the environmental requirements and tolerances of a species; sometimes seen as a species' "profession" or what it does to survive.

NISP (number of identified specimens): a gross counting technique used in the quantification of animal bones. The method may produce misleading results in assessing the relative abundance of different species, since skeletal differences and differential rates of bone preservation mean that some species will be represented more than others.

nocturnal: being primarily active at night.

nomadic pastoralism: the strategy of moving the herds that are one's livelihood from pasture to pasture as the seasons and circumstances require.

non-equilibrium systems: see self-organization.

non-probabilistic sampling: a non-statistical sampling strategy (in contrast to probabilistic sampling) which concentrates on sampling areas on the basis of intuition, historical documentation, or long field experience in the area.

nondisjunction: an error of meiosis in which the members of a pair of chromosomes move to the same pole rather than to opposite poles.

nonunilineal descent group: a kin group in which descent may be traced through either parent or through both.

nonverbal communication: the various means by which humans send and receive messages without using words (e.g., gestures, facial expressions, touching).

nouveau riche: people with newly acquired wealth.

norm: the most frequent behavior that the members of a group will show in a specific situation.

Notharctinaet: subfamily of the Adapidae, found primarily in North America.

notochord: a cartilaginous rod that runs along the back (dorsal) of all chordates at some point in their life cycle.

nuchal crest: a flange of bone in the occipital region of the skull that serves as the attachment of the nuchal musculature of the back of the neck.

nuchal muscle: the muscle in the back of the neck that functions to hold the head up. In primates with heavy facial skeletons, the large nuchal muscle attaches to a nuchal crest.

nuclear DNA (nDNA): DNA found within the nucleus of the cell.

nuclear family household: an independent family unit formed by a monogamous union.

nuclear membrane: a structure that binds the nucleus within the cell.

nucleation: the tendency of populations to cluster in settlements of increasing size and density.

nucleic acid: the largest of the molecules found in living organisms; composed of chains of nucleotides.

nucleotide: the basic building block of nucleic acids; composed of a five-carbon sugar (either ribose or deoxyribose), a phosphate, and a nitrogenous base (either a purine or pyrimidine).

nucleus: a structure found in the cell that contains the chromosomes.

nursery unit: among chimpanzees, a group of several family units (mothers with offspring) and sometimes females without infants.

obesity: a condition in which a person's weight is 20 percent greater than a sex- and age-specific weight-for-height standard.

obsidian hydration dating: this technique involves the absorption of water on exposed surfaces of obsidian; when the local hydration rate is known, the thickness of the hydration layer, if accurately measured, can be used to provide an absolute date.

obsidian: a volcanic glass whose ease of working and characteristically bard flintlike edges allowed it to be used for the making of tools.

occipital condyles: two rounded projections on either side of the foremen magnum that fit into a pair of sockets on the top of the spine, thus articulating the skull with the spine.

occipital torus: a horizontal bar of bone seen above the angularity in the occipital.

ochre: iron oxide or hematite. Color is commonly reddish-brown to yellow. Used as a natural pigment.

off-site data: evidence from a range of -information, including scatters of artifacts and features such as plowmarks and field boundaries, that provides important evidence about human exploitation of the environment.

Old World semibrachiation: a locomotor pattern involving extensive use of the hands in leaping; seen in basically quadrupedal animals.

Oldowan industry: the earliest toolkits, comprising flake and pebble tools, used by hominids in the Olduvai Gorge, East Africa.

olfactory: referring to the sense of smell.

Oligopithecidae: family represented by a single specimen from the Early Oligocene of the Fayum, Egypt.

omnivorous: eating both meat and vegetable food.

Omomyidae: family of Eocene and Oligocene primates, showing some resemblance to the tarsiers, found in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

one-male group: a social unit consisting of a single male associated with several females.

ontogeny: the processes of growth and development of the individual from conception to death.

ontology: the study of ontogeny.

oogenesis: the production of ova.

open-area excavation: the opening up of large horizontal areas for excavation, used especially where single period deposits lie close to the surface as, for example, with the remains of American Indian or European Neolithic long houses.

open: a characteristic of language that refers to the expansionary nature of language, which enables people to coin new labels for new concepts and objects.

operator: a site in the operon to which a repressor can bind, shutting off transcription of structural genes in the operon.

operon: a group of genes all controlled by the same regulatory gene.

opposable thumb: an anatomical arrangement in which the fleshy tip of the thumb can touch the fleshy tip of all the fingers.

optical emission spectrometry (OES): a technique used in the analysis of artifact composition, based on the principle that electrons, when excited (i.e. heated to a high temperature), release light of a particular wavelength. The presence or absence of various elements is established by examining the appropriate spectral line of their characteristic wavelengths. Generally, this method gives an accuracy of only 25 percent and has been superseded by ICPS (inductively coupled plasma emission spectrometry).

ordeal: a painful and possibly life-threatening test inflicted on someone suspected of a wrongdoing.

order: a major division of a class, consisting of closely related families.

Oreopithecidae: specialized hominoid from the Late Miocene of Europe.

organic solidarity: the unity of a society formed of dissimilar, specialized groupings, each having a restricted function (Durkheim).

orthognathous: describes a face that is relatively vertical as opposed to being prognathous.

orthograde: vertical posture.

ossification: the process of bone formation.

osteodontokeratic culture: an archaeological culture based upon tools made of bone, teeth, and hoary.

osteology: the study of bones.

ostracum: fragments (as of pottery) containing inscriptions. The singular is "ostraca."

outgroup: in a cladistic analysis, a group of species that are closely related to the species being studied and are used to differentiate between shared derived and ancestral derived features.

outwash channel: a stream valley formed by glacial melt-water.

outwash deposit: fluvial sediments laid down by glacial melt-water.

ovulation: the point during the female reproductive cycle, usually the midpoint, when the ovum has matured and breaks through the wall of the ovary.

ovum: a female gamete.

paleoanthropology: the study of the fossil record and archaeology.

paleoecology: the study of the relationship of extinct organisms or groups of organisms to their environments.

paleoentomology: the study of insects from archaeological contexts. The survival of insect exoskeletons, which are quite resistant to decomposition, is an important source of evidence in the reconstruction of paleo-environments.

paleoenvironments: past environmental/climatic conditions.

paleoethnobotany (archaeobotany): the recovery and identification of plant remains from archaeological contexts, important in the reconstruction of past environments and economies.

paleoindian: a term most frequently applied to early projectile point "cultures" of North America (e.g. Clovis, Folsom, Cody, etc.).

Paleolithic: the archaeological period before c.10,000 BC, characterized by the earliest known stone tool manufacture.

paleomagnetism: see archaeomagnetic dating.

paleontologists: experts on animal life of the distant past.

paleontology: that specialized branch of physical anthropology that analyzes the emergence and subsequent evolution of human physiology.

paleopathology: the study of the evidence of trauma and disease in fossilized skeletons.

paleosol: "old soil." buried soil horizons indicative of past soil conditions different from that presently prevailing.

paleospecies: a group of similar fossils whose range of morphological variation does not exceed the range of variation of a closely related living species.

palisade (also "stockade"): a fence formed of vertical posts placed side-by-side. Usually intended for defensive purposes.

palynology: the analysis of fossil pollen as an aid to the reconstruction of past vegetation and climates.

pangenesis: an early and inaccurate idea that acquired characteristics of parents are transmitted to their offspring.

Panidae: family within the superfamily Hominoidea that consists of the common chimpanzee, bonobo, and gorilla.

paradigmatic view: approach to science, developed by Thomas Kuhn, which holds that science develops from a set of assumptions (paradigm) and that revolutionary science ends with the acceptance of a new paradigm which ushers in a period of normal science.

parallel cousins: mother's sisters' children and father's brothers' children.

parallel evolution: see parallelism.

parallel flaking: regular sized parallel sided flakes removed from stone artifacts.

parallelism: a condition in which homoplastic similarities are found in related species that did not exist in the common ancestor. However, the common ancestor provided initial commonalities that gave direction to the evolution of the similarities.

Parapithecoidea: suborder of the order Primates consisting of Early Oligocene primates from the Fayum, Egypt.

parietal art: a term used to designate art on the walls of caves and shelters, or on huge blocks.

participant observation: actual participation in a culture by an investigator, who seeks to gam social acceptance in the society as a means to acquire understanding of her or his observations.

pastoralism: a form of social organization based on herding.

patination (patina): crust formed on an artifact by chemical alteration of its surface or accretion of calcium carbonate.

patriclan: a group that claims but cannot brace their descent through the male line from a common male ancestor.

patrilineage: a lineage whose members brace their genealogies through specified male links to a common male ancestor.

patrilineal descent group: a unilineal descent group in which membership is inherited through the paternal line.

patrilineal descent: descent traced through the male line.

patrilocal postmarital residence: a custom where by a married couple resides in the household or vicinity of the husband's parents.

patrilocal residence: residence of a married couple with or near the husband's kin.

patrimonial system: a system of ownership, followed in northern and central Europe during the Middle Ages, in which land was controlled by feudal lords who held their domains by hereditary right.

patron client relationship: a mutually obligatory arrangement between an individual who has authority, social status, wealth, or some other personal resource (the patron) and another person who benefits from his or her support or influence (the client).

peasants: farmers who lack control over the means of their production--the land, the other resources, and the capital they need to grow their crops, and the labor they contribute to the process.

pebble tool: a natural rounded pebble manufactured into a simple cutting tool by the removal of a few percussion flakes, usually unifacially on one edge.

pecking (also "pecking and grinding"): the process of manufacturing heavy-duty stone tools (bowls, mauls etc.) from granular rocks by prolonged hammering with a hammerstone. Abrasive techniques might be used to finish the piece.

pedestal: a raised area isolated around important excavated materials to facilitate their study.

pedigree: a diagrammatic reconstruction of past mating in a family.

pedology: the scientific study and classification of soils.

peer-polity interaction: the full range of exchanges taking place -- including imitation, emulation, competition, warfare, and the exchange of material goods and information -- between autonomous (self-governing) sociopolitical units, generally within the same geographic region.

pendant: any ornamental object designed for suspension.

penetrance: the degree to which an allele is expressed in the phenotype.

pentadactylism: the presence of five digits on the hand and/or foot.

peptide bond: a link between amino acids in a protein.

percussion flaking (also "direct percussion flaking"): the technique of shaping stone artifacts by removing flakes with direct blows with a hammer of stone, antler, or wood.

pericentric inversion: a type of inversion in which two breaks occur in a chromosome, one on either side of the centromere, and the centerpiece becomes fumed around and rejoined with the two outside pieces.

periglacial phenomena (also "cryoturbation"): a general term for disturbance of surficial deposits caused by frost action. Most prevalent in areas of permafrost and can be very damaging to archaeological sites.

period: a unit of geological time; a division of an era.

peripheralization: the process whereby an adolescent animal encounters aggressive behavior from adults and gradually moves away from the group over time.

permanent teeth The second set of teeth that erupt in mammals. Humans have thirty-two permanent teeth.

petrified wood: agatized wood, sometimes used as a raw material for the manufacture of flaked stone artifacts. Often banded or laminated and of variable color.

petroglyph: pictures, symbols, or other art work pecked, carved or incised on natural rock surfaces.

pH: The measurement of acidity or alkalinity. A pH of 7 is neutral; less than 7 is acid; greater than 7 is basic or alkaline.

phase (also "focus"): a chronologically limited cultural unit within a local culture sequence, characterized by sufficient diagnostic traits to set it apart from all other units. A phase is generally represented by 2 or more components in several sites and is the basic classificatory unit of archaeological "cultures".

phenotype: the observable and measurable characteristics of an organism.

phenylketonuria (PKU): a genetic disease, inherited as a recessive, brought about by the absence of the enzyme responsible for the conversion of the amino acid phenylalanine to tyrosine. Phenylalanine accumulates in the blood and then breaks down into by-products that cause severe mental retardation in addition to other symptoms.

phenylthiocarbamide (PTC): an artificially created substance whose main use is in detecting the ability to taste it. The ability to taste PTC is inherited as a dominant.

phoneme: a class of sounds that differ slightly from one another but that may be substituted for one another without any change of meaning.

phonology: the sound system of a language.

phosphate unit: a unit of the DNA molecule consisting of a phosphate and four oxygen atoms.

photo-mosaic: a number of overlapping photographs glued together to provide continuous coverage of a large area. Aerial photographic mosaics are used in the production of modern topographic maps.

photogrammetry: the science of obtaining accurate measurements and maps from photographs.

phratry: a group that typically consists of several clans that extend the rights and obligations of kinship to one another but retain distinct identities.

phyletic gradualism model: the idea that evolution is a slow process with gradual transformation of one population into another.

phyllite: a soft laminated shale-like rock used for the manufacture of decorative objects such as pendants and beads.

phylogenetic tree: a graphic representation of evolutionary relationships among animal species.

phylogeny: the evolutionary history of a species.

phylum: a major division of a kingdom, consisting of closely related classes; represents a basic body plan.

physical anthropology: the scientific study of the physical characteristics, variability, and evolution of the human organism.

physical environment: the complex of inanimate elements that surround an organism.

phytoliths: minute particles of silica derived from the cells of plants, able to survive alter the organism has decomposed or been burned. They are common in ash layers, pottery, and even on stone tools.

pictograph: aboriginally painted designs on natural rock surfaces. Red ochre is the most frequently used pigment and natural or abstract motifs may be represented.

pidgin: a language based on a simplified grammar and lexicon taken from one or more fully developed languages.

piece esquillee (fr. "splintered piece"): a type of flaked stone artifact manufactured by the bipolar percussion technique. Generally characterized by a lenticular or wedge-shaped cross-section; opposed bifacial crushing, battering and hinge-fracturing; and frequently relatively long columnar "blade-like" flake scars.

pinger (or boomer profiler): an underwater survey device, more powerful than sidescan sonar, capable of probing up to 60 m (197 ft) below the seabed.

pipestone: any soft stone used in the manufacture of aboriginal smoking pipes.

piston corer: a device for extracting columns of sediment from the ocean floor. Dates for the different layers are obtained by radiocarbon, archaeomagnetic, or uranium series methods.

pithouse: a semi-subterranean "earth-lodge" dwelling. Usually consisted of an earth-covered log framework roof over a circular to rectangular excavation.

placenta: an organ that develops from fetal membranes and functions to pass oxygen, nutrients, and other substances to and waste material from the fetus.

placental mammals: members of the infraclass Eutheria of the class Mammalia; mammals that form a placenta.

placoderm: a member of the extinct class of early jawed vertebrates.

plane-table mapping: the construction of small-scale topographic maps, on the site, by use of an alidade, plane-table, and stadia-rod.

plane-table: a small drawing table mounted on a tripod in such a way that it can be leveled and rotated. Provides the base for the alidade in plane-table mapping.

plasma membrane: a structure that binds the cell but allows for the entry and exit of certain substances.

plasma: the liquid portion of the blood containing salts, sugars, fats, amino acids, hormones, plasma, proteins, etc.

plastic arts: those forms of art such as sculpture, carving, pottery, and weaving.

plate tectonics: the theory that the surface of the earth is divided into a number of plates that move in relationship to each other. Some of these plates carry the continents.

platelets: cell fragments in the blood that function in blood clotting.

plating: a method of bonding metals together, for instance silver with copper or copper with gold.

platycephalic: having a low and relatively flat forehead.

platyrrhine nose: a nose in which the nostrils open sideways and are usually separated by a broad nasal septum; characteristic of the New World monkeys.

Platyrrhini: infraorder of the order Primates that includes the New World monkeys and various New World fossil taxa.

play group: a group of juveniles within a larger social unit that engage in play behavior.

play: energetic and repetitive activity engaged in primarily by infants and juveniles.

pleiotropy: a situation in which a single allele may affect an entire series of traits.

Pleistocene: the latest major geological epoch, colloquially known as the "Ice Age" due to the multiple expansion and retreat of glaciers. Ca. 3.000,000-10,000 years B.P.

plesiomorphic: in cladistics, this term describes primitive or generalized characteristics that arose early in the evolutionary history of a taxonomic group. These will be very widespread and will therefore not help in dividing the group into lower-level taxa.

pneumatized: the presence of air spaces within some bones of the skull.

point mutation: an error at a particular point on the DNA molecule.

polar bodies: cells that develop in oogenesis, contain little cytoplasm, and do not develop into mature ova.

political economy approach: assumes that I peasants rationally calculate the advantages.

politics: the process by which a community's decisions are made, rules for group behavior are established, competition for positions of leadership is regulated, and the disruptive effects of disputes are minimized.

polity: a politically independent or autonomous social unit, whether simple or complex, which may in the case of a complex society (such as a state) comprise many lesser dependent components.

pollen analysis: see palynology.

polyandry: marriage between one woman and two or more men simultaneously.

polygamy: plural marriage.

polygenic: the result of the interaction of several genes.

polygyny: marriage between one man and two or more women simultaneously.

polymorphism: the presence of several distinct forms of a gene or phenotypic trait within a population with frequencies greater than 1 percent.

polypeptide: a chain of amino acids.

polyphyodonty: the continuous replacement of teeth such as occurs in reptiles.

polytheism: belief in many gods.

polytypic: a situation in which a species is composed of several distinct populations.

Pongidae: family within the superfamily Hominoidea that consists of the orangutan.

populationist viewpoint: the concept that only individuals have reality and that the type is illusory. Since no two individuals are exactly alike, variation underlies all existence.

positive eugenics: a method of increasing the frequency of desirable traits by encouraging reproduction by individuals with these traits.

positive feedback: a term used in systems thinking to describe a response in which changing output conditions in the system stimulate further growth in the input; one of the principal factors in generating system change or morphogenesis (see also multiplier effect).

positivism: theoretical position that explanations must be empirically verifiable, that there are universal laws in the structure and transformation of human institutions, and that theories which incorporate individualistic elements, such as minds, are not verifiable.

post-contact period (also "historic period"): refers to the period following the first arrival of Europeans.

post-mold: the impression, stain, or cavity, left in the ground by a rotted wooden post.

post-partum sex taboo: the prohibition of a woman from having sexual intercourse for a specified period of time following the birth of a child.

postmating mechanism: any form of reproductive isolation that occurs after mating.

postorbital bar: a feature of the skull formed by a downward extension of the frontal bone that supports the eye.

postorbital constriction: as seen from the top view, a marked constriction in the skull immediately behind the orbits and supraorbital torus.

postorbital septum: a bony petition behind the eye that isolates the eye from the muscles of the jaw and forms a bony eye socket, or orbit, in which the eye lies.

postprocessual explanation: Explanation formulated in reaction to the perceived limitations of functional-processual archaeology. It eschews generalization in favor of an "individualizing" approach that is influenced by structuralism, Critical Theory, and neo-Marxist thought.

pot-hunter: an "amateur archaeologist" who vandalizes and destroys sites to add to his private collection, or for monetary gain.

pot-lid fracture: a circular flake removed from cryptocrystalline materials by sudden heating. Leaves a small saucer-shaped depression in the surface of the stone.

potassium argon dating: a chronometric dating technique based on the rate of decay of potassium 40 to argon 40. Used to date rocks up to thousands of millions of years old though it is restricted to volcanic material no more recent than c 100 000 years old. One of the most widely used methods in the dating of early hominid sites in Africa.

potlatch: a form of competitive giveaway found among the Northwest Coast American Indians that serves as a mechanism for both achieving social status and distributing goods.

power grip: a grip in which an object is held between the fingers and the palm with the thumb reinforcing the fingers.

power: the ability to exert influence because one's directives are backed by negative sanctions of some sort.

pre-ceramic period: the period prior to the introduction of ceramic artifacts.

pre-contact: refers to the period before the first arrival of europeans in a given area.

Pre-Wisconsinan: prior to the Wisconsinan glacial period or older than about 70,000 B.P.

preadaptation: the potential to adapt to a new niche.

prebendal system: a system of ownership common in the centralized bureaucratic states that arose in China, Mogul India, Peru, and the Ottoman Empire, in which land was temporarily assigned to administrators or tax collectors by the ruler.

precision handling: a situation in which an object is held between one or more fingers with the thumb fully opposed to the fingertips.

preform: an early preliminary stage in the reduction-manufacture of a flaked stone artifact.

prehensile tail: a tail found in some New World monkeys that has the ability to grasp.

prehistoric: the period prior to written records for any given area. In North America synonymous with

prehistory: the period of human history before the advent of writing.

premating mechanism: a form of reproductive isolation that prevents mating from occurring.

prenatal: the period of an individual's life cycle from conception to birth.

presenting: a behavior in which a subordinate primate shows his or her anal region to a dominant animal.

preservation potential: the probability of a bone's being preserved after death.

pressure flaking: the technique of shaping tools from cryptocrystalline or fine-grained rocks by pressing off small concoidal flakes by flaking.tools of antler or bone.

prestige goods: a term used to designate a limited range of exchange goods to which a society ascribes high status or value.

primary center of ossification: the area of first appearance of bone within the cartilage model of a long bone.

primary context: the original depositional situation, unaffected by any later disturbance.

primary deposit: a primary deposit is a body of sediments which have not been significantly disturbed since their original deposition.

primary flakes: the first series of flakes removed from a core or nucleus in the process of tool manufacture.

Primates: order of the class Mammalia that includes the living prosimians, tarsiers, New World monkeys, Old World monkeys, lesser apes, great apes, and humans.

primatology: the study of living nonhuman primates.

primitive valuables: a term coined by Dalton to describe the tokens of wealth and prestige, often of specially valued items, that were used in the ceremonial exchange systems of non-state societies; examples include the shell necklaces and bracelets of the kula systems (cf. prestige goods).

primitive: a derogatory term used to describe small-scale, preliterate, and technologically simple societies.

prion: a microscopic particle that causes nervous system diseases in nonhuman animals and has been implicated as the cause of kuru. The prion appears to be composed of protein and lacks any nucleic acid.

probabilistic sampling: sampling method, employing probability theory, designed to draw reliable general conclusions about a site or region, based on small sample areas. Four types of sampling strategies are recognized: (1) simple random sampling; (2) stratified random sampling; (3) systematic sampling; (4) stratified systematic sampling.

processors: hunter-gatherers who occupy one permanent settlement, from which they move to temporary camps to exploit seasonally available resources (a foraging pattern).

processual archaeology: an approach that stresses the dynamic relationship between social and economic aspects of culture and the environment as the basis for understanding the processes of culture, change. Uses the scientific methodology of problem statement, hypothesis formulation, and subsequent testing. The earlier functional-processual archaeology has been contrasted with cognitive-processual archaeology, where the emphasis is on integrating ideological and symbolic aspects.

Proconsulidae: Miocene hominoids from Africa.

production: the conversion of natural resources to usable forms.

productive life span: the period bounded by the culturally established ages at which a person ideally enters and retires from the work force.

productivity: the amount of work a person accomplishes in a given period of time.

profane: the sphere of the ordinary and routine; the everyday, natural world.

profile drawing: a precise scale drawing of the strata and horizons revealed in the walls of an excavation or other exposure. A section which has been drawn is said to have been "profiled".

profile: a section, or exposure of the ground, showing depositional or developmental strata or horizons.

prognathism: a jutting forward of the facial skeleton and jaws.

projectile point: An inclusive term for arrow, spear or dart-points. Characterized by a symmetrical point, a relatively thin cross-section and some element to allow attachment to the projectile shaft. Flaked stone projectile points are usually classified by their outline form.

prokaryote: a cell, more primitive than a eukaryote, having no nucleus. Prokaryotes include bacteria and blue-green algae.

pronograde: a posture in which the body is held parallel to the ground.

Propliopithecidae: family of the infraorder Catarrhini from the Middle Oligocene to Late Miocene of Africa and Europe that may have given rise to the Old World monkeys and the hominoids.

prosimians: members of the suborder Prosimii, including the living Madagascar lemuriformes and the lorises, potto, angwantibo, and galagos.

Prosimii: suborder of the order Primates that includes the living Madagascar lemuriformes and the lorises, potto, angwantibo, and galagos.

protein-caloric malnutrition: a class of malnutrition that includes kwashiorkor and marasmus.

protein: a long chain of amino acids joined together by peptide bonds (a polypeptide chain).

protoculture: the simplest or beginning aspects of culture as seen in some nonhuman primates.

protohistoric: a period prior to the beginning of written records in an area, but after that area has been initially mentioned in reports written elsewhere.

proton magnetometer: a device used in subsurface detection which records variation in the earth's magnetic field.

prototherian mammals: mammals belonging to the subclass Prototheria; monotremes or egg-laying mammals.

provenience: the horizontal and/or vertical position of an object in relation to a set of spatial coordinates.

provisional site designation: a temporary code or number applied to newly located sites during site-surveying, until a final Borden System number can be assigned.

provisionized colony: groups of free-ranging primates that have become accustomed to humans because of the establishment of feeding stations.

proxemics: the study of human perception and use of space in communication and social relations.

proximal: the portion of an artifact or bone closest to the body of the user or "owner".

pseudo-archaeology: the use of selective archaeological evidence to promulgate nonscientific, fictional accounts of the past.

psychic unity: a concept popular among some nineteenth-century anthropologists that assumed that all people when operating under similar circumstances will think and behave in similar ways.

psychological anthropology: the study of the relationship between culture and individual personality.

ptyalin: a digestive enzyme found in saliva that begins the digestion of starches in the mouth.

puberty: an event in the life cycle that includes rapid increase in stature, development of sex organs, and development of secondary sexual characteristics.

pubic symphysis: the area of the pelvis at which the two innominates join.

punctuated equilibria: principal feature of the evolutionary theory propounded by Niles Eldredge and Stephen J. Gould, in which species change is represented as a form of Darwinian gradualism "punctuated" by periods of rapid evolutionary change.

purdah: the Muslim or Hindu practice of keeping women hidden from men outside their own family; or, a curtain, veil, or the like used for such a purpose.

purine: a base found in nucleic acids that consists of two connected rings of carbon and nitrogen; in DNA and RNA, adenine and guanine.

pyrimidine: base found in nucleic acids that consists of a single ring of carbon and nitrogen; in DNA, thymine and cytosine, and in RNA, uracil and cytosine.

pyrotechnology: the intentional use and control of fire by humans.

quadrant: generally refers to one-quarter of an excavation unit or level, e.g. "the northwest quadrant of excavation unit N. 2-4, E. 4-6".

quadrat: a rectangular sampling unit.

quadrupedalism: locomotion on four limbs.

quarry site: a site where lithic raw materials have been mined.

quartz-crystal: pure silicate rock-crystal. Usually perfectly clear with six crystal surfaces. May be used as a raw material for lithic tool manufacture.

quartzite: a granular stone formed of fused quartz grains. Commonly white, yellow or red. Used as a raw material, for flaked stone tools.

race: a subgroup of human population that shares a greater number of physical traits with one another than they do with those of other subgroups.

radioactive decay: the regular process by which radioactive isotopes break down into their decay products with a half-life which is specific to the isotope in question (see also radiocarbon dating).

radiocarbon dating: an absolute dating method based on the radioactive decay of Carbon-14 contained in organic materials.

radioimmunoassay: a method of protein analysis whereby it is possible to identify protein molecules surviving in fossils which are thousands and even millions of years old.

radiometric dating: a type of chronometric dating that involves methods based upon the decay of radioactive materials; examples are radiocarbon and potassium-argon dating.

raised beaches: these are remnants of former coastlines, usually the result of processes such as isostatic uplift or tectonic movements.

random sample: a sample in which each individual in a population has the same chance of being selected as any other.

range: see home range.

ranked societies: societies in which there is unequal access to prestige and status e.g. chiefdoms and states.

rational economic decisions: the weighing of available alternatives and calculation of which will provide the most benefit at the least cost.

reaves: Bronze Age stone boundary walls, for instance on Dartmoor, England, which may designate the territorial extent of individual communities.

rebellion: an attempt within a society to disrupt the status quo and redistribute the power and resources.

recessive: a genetically determined characteristic that is expressed only in the homozygous recessive condition.

reciprocity: a mode of exchange in which transactions take place between individuals who are symmetrically placed, i.e. they are exchanging as equals, neither being in a dominant position.

recombinant DNA: a technique for transferring genetic material from one organism to another.

recombination: a mechanism of meiosis responsible for each gamete's uniqueness. As the chromosomes line up in metaphase, they can combine into several configurations.

reconnaissance survey: a broad range of techniques involved in the location of archaeological sites, e.g. the recording of surface artifacts and features, and the sampling of natural and mineral resources.

red blood cell: see erythrocyte.

redistribution: a mode of exchange which implies the operation of some central organizing authority. Goods are received or appropriated by the central authority, and subsequently some of them are sent by that authority to other locations.

refitting: sometimes referred to as conjoining, this entails attempting to put stone tools and flakes back together again, and provides important information on the processes involved in the knapper's craft.

refutationist view: approach which holds that science consists of theories about the empirical world, that its goal is to develop better theories, which is achieved by finding mistakes in existing theories, so that it is crucial that theories be falsifiable (vulnerable to error and open to testing). The approach, developed by Karl Popper, emphasizes the important of testability as a component of scientific theories.

regional continuity model: a hypothesis which states that modem H. sapiens had multiple origins from existing local populations. Each local population of archaic humans gave rise to a population of modem H. sapiens.

regulation of access to resources: control over the use of land, water, and raw materials.

regulatory gene: a segment of DNA that functions to initiate or block the function of another gene.

relative dating: the determination of chronological sequence without recourse to a fixed time scale; e.g. the arrangement of artifacts in a typological sequence, or seriation (cf. absolute dating).

relative fitness (RF): the fitness of a genotype compared with the fitness of another genotype in the same gene system. Relative fitness is measured on a scale of O to 1.

relativism: the concept that a cultural system can be viewed only in terms of the principles, background, frame of reference, and history that characterize it.

religion: a framework of beliefs relating to supernatural or superhuman beings or forces that transcend the everyday material world.

remote sensing: general term for reconnaissance and surface survey techniques that leave subsurface archaeological deposits undisturbed.

rent fund: the portion of the peasant budget allocated to payment for the use of land and equipment.

replacement fund: the portion of the peasant budget allocated to the repair or replacement of materials depleted by normal wear and tear.

replacement model: a hypothesis which states that modern H. sapiens evolved in Africa or Asia and radiated out of one of these areas replacing archaic hominid populations.

replication: the experimental reproduction or duplication of prehistoric artifacts in an attempt to better understand how they were made and used in the past.

repressor protein: the product of a regulatory gene that blocks the function of another gene.

reproductive isolating mechanism: a mechanism that prevents reproduction from occurring between two populations.

reproductive population: a group of organisms capable of successful reproduction.

reproductive risk: a measure expressed in terms of the number of zygotes needed from a mating pair to produce two offspring that will in turn reproduce.

rescue archaeology: see salvage archaeology.

research design: systematic planning of research, usually including (1) the formulation of a strategy to resolve a particular question; (2) the collection and recording of the evidence; (3) the processing and analysis of these data and their interpretation; and (4) the publication of results.

resharpening flakes: usually small flakes removed from the edges of chipped-stone cutting or scraping tools to rejuvenate the effectiveness of the edge.

residual volume: the amount of air still remaining in the lungs after the most forceful expiration.

resilience: the ability of an ecosystem to undergo change while still maintaining its basic elements or relationships.

resistivity meter: see soil resistivity. Natural accretions of manganese and iron oxides, together with clay minerals and organic matter, which can provide valuable environmental evidence. Their study, when combined with radiocarbon methods, can provide a minimum age for some landforms, and even some types of stone tool which also accumulate varnish.

resistivity: a means of detecting buried features and areas of disturbance by measuring the resistance of an electrical current passed through the ground.

restriction enzyme: an enzyme used to "cut" the DNA molecule at specific sites; used in recombinant DNA technology.

retina: the layer of cells in the back of the eye that contains two types of cells, rods and cones, that are sensitive to light.

retinoblastoma: a cancer of the retina of the eye in children, inherited as a dominant.

retouch: the removal of small secondary flakes along the edge of a lithic artifact to improve or alter the cutting properties of that edge. Retouch flaking may be bifacial or unifacial.

retouched flake: a stone flake which has had one or more edges modified by the deliberate removal of secondary chips.

revitalization movements: conscious efforts to build an ideology that will be relevant to changing cultural needs.

revolution: an attempt to overthrow the existing form of political organization, the principles of economic production and distribution, and the allocation of social status.

Rh blood-type system: a blood-type system consisting of two major alleles. A mating between an Rh - mother and Rh + father may produce in the infant the hemolytic disease erythroblastosis fetalis.

rhinarium: the moist naked area surrounding the nostrils in most mammals; absent in most primates.

rhyolite: a fine-grained light colored volcanic rock, chemically identical to obsidian. color may range from white, through gray, and yellow to reddish-pink. Sometimes used as a raw material for lithic tools.

ribonucleic acid A type of nucleic acid based upon the sugar ribose; exists in cells as messenger RNA and transfer RNA.

ribose: a five-carbon sugar found in RNA.

ribosome: a small, spherical body within the cytoplasm of the cell in which protein synthesis takes place.

rimsherd: a fragment of the rim, or top edge, of a ceramic vessel. important archaeologically since rims-herds frequently show the greatest degree of stylistic variability.

rite of solidarity: any ceremony performed for the sake of enhancing the level of social integration among a group of people.

rites of intensification: rituals intended either to bolster a natural process necessary to survival or to reaffirm the society's commitment to a particular set of values and beliefs.

rites of passage: rituals that mark a person's transition from one set of socially identified circumstances to another.

ritual: behavior that has become highly formalized and stereotyped.

rock alignment: any artificial arrangement of rocks or boulders into rows or other patterns.

rock-art: an inclusive term for petroglyphs and pictographs.

rock-shelter: a shallow cave or rock overhang large enough to have allowed human occupancy at some time.

rods: cells of the retina of the eye that are sensitive to the presence or absence of light; function in black-and-white vision. ~

role: a set of behavioral expectations appropriate to an individual's social position.

sacred: the sphere of extraordinary phenomena associated with awesome supernatural forces.

sagittal crest: a ridge of bone along the midline of the top of the skull that serves for the attachment of the temporalis muscle.

sagittal keel: a bony ridge formed by a thickening of bone along the top of the skull; characteristic of H. erectus.

salvage archaeology (also "rescue archaeology", or "crisis archaeology"): archaeological research carried out to preserve or rescue sites, materials and data from areas threatened by man-made or natural disturbance. The most common type of archaeological fieldwork conducted in North America at the present time.

sampling bias: the tendency of a sample to exclude some members of the sampling universe and overrepresent others.

sampling error: in population genetics, the transmission of a nonrepresentative sample of the gene pool over space or time due to chance. See also founder principle and genetic drift.

sampling unit: the sub-element of the total population selected for sampling.

sampling universe: the largest entity to be described, of which the sample is a part.

sampling: the probabilistic, systematic, or judgmental selection of a sub-element from a larger population, with the aim of approximating a representative picture of the whole.

sanction: any means used to enforce compliance with the rules and norms of a society.

Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: the notion that a person's language shapes her or his perception and view of the world.

scarce resources: a central concept of Western economics which assumes that people have more wants than they have resources to satisfy them.

scarp: an escarpment, cliff or other steep slope, such as the slope between fluvial terraces.

scent marking: marking territory by urinating or defecating or by rubbing scent glands against trees or other objects.

science: a method of reaming about the world by applying the principles of the scientific method, which includes making empirical observations, proposing hypotheses to explain those observations, and testing those hypotheses in valid and reliable ways; also refers to the organized body of knowledge that results from scientific study.

scientific theory: a statement that postulates ordered relationships among natural phenomena.

scientism: the belief that there is one and only one method of science and that it alone confers legitimacy upon the conduct of research.

scraper: a tool presumably used in scraping, scouring, or planing functions. Most frequently refers to flaked stone artifacts with one or more steep unifacially retouched edge(s).

seasonal isolation: a form of reproductive isolation in which the breeding seasons of two closely related populations do not exactly correspond.

secondary burial: a human interment which was moved and re-buried aboriginally.

secondary center of ossification: an area of ossification, usually near the end of a long bone.

secondary datum: a local base measuring point at a known distance from the main horizontal or vertical datum points.

secondary deposit: a body of natural or cultural sediments which have been disturbed and re-transported since their original deposition.

secondary retouch: finishing or resharpening flaking done after the basic shape of a lithic tool has been completed.

secondary sexual characteristics: physical features other than the genitalia that distinguish males from females after puberty.

section: (1) a vertical cut (or exposure) through a body of sediments or a feature. (2) a one-square mile unit in the legal subdivision system.

sectorial premolar: a unicuspid first lower premolar with a shearing edge.

secular trend: the tendency over the last hundred or so years for each succeeding generation to mature earlier and become, on the average, larger.

sedentary pastoralism: animal husbandry that does not involve mobility.

sedentism: the practice of establishing a permanent, year-round settlement.

sediment: material that was suspended in water and that settles at the bottom of a body of water.

sedimentary beds: beds, or layers, of sediments; also called strata.

sedimentation: the accumulation of geological or organic material deposited by air, water, or ice.

sedimentology: a subset of geomorphology concerned with the investigation of the structure and texture of sediments i.e. the global term for material deposited on the earth's surface.

segmentary lineage: a descent group in which minimal lineages are encompassed as segments of minor lineages, minor lineages as segments of major lineages, and so on.

segmentary societies: relatively small and autonomous groups, usually of agriculturalists. who regulate their own affairs; in some cases, they may join together with other comparable segmentary societies to form a larger ethnic unit.

segregation: in the formation of sex cells, the process in which paired hereditary factors separate, forming sex cells that contain either one or the other factor.

seismic reflection profiler: an acoustic underwater survey device that uses the principle of echo-sounding to locate submerged landforms; in water depths of 100 m, this method can achieve penetration of more than 10 m into the sea-floor.

selective agent: any factor that brings about differences in fertility and mortality.

selective attention: unconscious focusing on and response to stimuli that are perceived to be important, to the exclusion of other stimuli.

selective coefficient: a numerical expression of the strength of a selective force operating on a specific genotype.

selective pressure: pressure placed by a selective agent upon certain individuals within the population that results in the change of allele frequencies in the next generation.

self-organization: the product of a theory derived from thermodynamics which demonstrates that order can arise spontaneously when systems are pushed far from an equilibrium state. The emergence of new structure arises at bifurcation points, or thresholds of instability (cf. catastrophe theory).

self-reducing tacheometer: a major surveying instrument (transit or alidade) which allows the direct read-out of true vertical and horizontal distances within the eye-piece without the use of trigonometric formulae or tables.

semantic domains: groups of related categories of meaning in a language.

semantics: the study of the larger system of meaning created by words.

senescence: old age.

serial monogamy: an exclusive union followed by divorce and remarriage, perhaps many times.

seriation: a relative dating technique based on the chronological ordering of a group of artifacts or assemblages, where the most similar are placed adjacent to each other in the series. Two types of seriation can be recognized, frequency seriation and contextual seriation.

serrated: notched or toothed. may refer to the edge of a tool.

serum: plasma after the clotting material has settled out.

settlement pattern: the spatial distribution of cultural activities across a landscape at a given moment in time.

sex chromosomes: the X and Y chromosomes. Normal males have one X and one Y; normal females have two X's.

sex-controlled trait: a trait that is expressed differently in males and females.

sex-limited trait: a trait that is expressed in only one of the sexes.

sexual dimorphism: the condition in which differences in structure exist between males and females of the same species.

sexual division of labor: the situation in which males and females in a society perform different tasks. In hunting-gathering societies males usually hunt while females usually gather wild vegetable food.

sexual isolation: a form of reproductive isolation in which one or both sexes of a species initiate mating behavior that does not act as a stimulus to the opposite sex of a closely related species.

sexual skin: skin in the anal region that turns bright pink or red and may swell when the animal is in estrus; found in the female of some primate species.

sexual stratification: the ranking of people in a society according to sex.

shaman: a medium of the supernatural who acts as a person in possession of unique curing, divining, or witchcraft capabilities.

shamanistic cult: that form of religion in which part-time religious specialists called shamans intervene with the deities on behalf of their clients.

sharecropping: working land owned by others for a share of the yield.

shared ancestral feature: compared with a shared derived feature, a homology that did not appear as recently and is therefore shared by a larger group of species.

shared derived feature: a recently appearing homology that is shared by a relatively small group of closely related taxa.

sharing clusters: among chimpanzees, temporary groups that form after hunting to eat the meat.

shell midden: a site formed of mainly concentrated shellfish remains.

shifting cultivation: (swidden, slash and burn) a form of plant cultivation in which seeds are planted in the fertile soil prepared by cutting and burning the natural growth; relatively short periods of cultivation on the land are followed by longer periods of fallow.

shovel-screening: a rapid excavation procedure in which the site matrix is shoveled directly through a screen (usually 1/4" mesh).

shovel-shaped incisors: incisors that have a scooped out shape on the tongue side of the tooth.

sickle-cell anemia: a disorder in individuals homozygous for hemoglobin S in which red blood cells will develop into a sickle shape that, in turn, will clog capillaries, resulting in anemia, heart failure, etc.

sickle-cell trait: the condition of being heterozygous for hemoglobin A and S. yet the individual usually shows no abnormal symptoms.

side-blade: a flaked stone, bone, shell, or metal artifact inserted in the side of a shaft or projectile point to provide an extended cutting edge.

sidescan sonar: a survey method used in underwater archaeology which provides the broadest view of the sea-floor. An acoustic emitter is towed behind a vessel and sends out sound waves in a fan-shaped beam. These pulses of sonic energy are reflected back to a transducer-- return time depending on distance traveled--and recorded on a rotating drum.

silent areas: sections of the cerebral cortex, which include parts of the frontal, occipital, and temporal lobes, in which electrical stimulation produces little or no emotional or motor response.

simian shelf: a bony buttress on the inner surface of the foremost part of the ape mandible, functioning to reinforce the mandible.

simple random sampling: a type of probabilistic sampling where the areas to be sampled are chosen using a table of random numbers. Drawbacks include (1) defining the site's boundaries beforehand; (2) the nature of random number tables results in some areas being allotted clusters of sample squares, while others remain untouched.

simulation: the formulation and computer implementation of dynamic models i.e. models concerned with change through time. Simulation is a useful heuristic device, and can be of considerable help in the development of explanation.

site catchment analysis (SCA): a type of off-site analysis which concentrates on the total area from which a site's contents have been derived; at its simplest, a site's catchment can be thought of as a full inventory of artifactual and non-artifactual remains and their sources.

site exploitation territory (SET): often confused with site catchment analysis, this is a method of achieving a fairly standardized assessment of the area habitually used by a site's occupants.

site survey: the process of searching for and describing archaeological sites in a given area.

site: a distinct spatial clustering of artifacts, features, structures, and organic and environmental remains. as the residue of human activity.

skull deformation: the artificial distortion of cranial bones during growth practiced by some aboriginal cultures.

slag: the material residue of smelting processes from metalworking. Analysis is often necessary to distinguish slags derived from copper smelting from those produced in iron production. Crucible slags (from the casting process) may be distinguished from smelting slags by their high concentration of copper.

SLAR (sideways-looking airborne radar): a remote sensing technique that involves the recording in radar images of the return of pulses of electromagnetic radiation sent out from aircraft (cf. thermography).

slash and burn agriculture: a method of farming, also called swidden agriculture, by which fields are cleared, trees and brush are burned, and the soil, fertilized by the ash, is then planted.

slavery: a practice that permits some people within a society to own other persons and to claim the right to their labor.

slope distance: in mapping the inclined distance (as opposed to true horizontal or vertical distance) between 2 points.

social anthropology: see cultural anthropology. <> social category: a category composed of all people who share certain culturally identified characteristics.

social class: a category of people who have generally similar educational histories, job opportunities, and social standing and who are conscious of their membership in a social group that is ranked in relation to others and is replicated over generations.

social control: a framework of rewards and sanctions that channel behavior.

social division of labor: the process by which a society is formed by the integration of its smaller groups or subsets.

social intelligence: the knowledge and images that originate in an individual's brain and that are transferred by speech land in the last 5,000 years, by writing to the brains of others.

social mobility: the ability of people to change their social position within the society.

social norm: an expected form of behavior.

social pressure: a means of social control in which people who venture over the boundaries of society's rules are brought back into line.

social stratification: the ranking of subgroups in a society according to wealth, power, and prestige..

socialization: the process by which a person acquires the technical skills of his or her society, the knowledge of the kinds of behavior that are understood and acceptable in that society, and the attitudes and values that make conformity with social rules personally meaningful, even gratifying; also termed enculturation.

society: a group of interacting people who share a geographical region, a sense of common identity, and a common culture.

sociobiology: the study of the biological control of social behavior.

sociocultural anthropology: a branch of anthropology that deals with variations in patterns of social interaction and differences in cultural behavior.

sociolinguistics: a branch of anthropological linguistics that studies how language and culture are related and how language is used in different social contexts.

soil resistivity: a method of subsurface detection which measures changes in conductivity by passing electrical current through ground soils. This is generally a consequence of moisture content, and in this way, buried features can be detected by differential retention of groundwater.

soil texture: the relative proportion of clay, silt and sand sized particles in a soil.

soil-sample: a quantity of soil, site matrix, or sediments collected for physical, or chemical analysis.

soil-sieves: small, precision metal screens, used for determining the proportions of different sized particles in a soil sediment sample.

soil-sounding radar: a method of subsurface detection in which short radio pulses are sent through the soil, such that the echoes reflect back significant changes in soil conditions.

solifluction: the slow downslope movement of surface sediments in a saturated condition. Prevalent in permafrost areas due to the seasonal thawing of the surface of the permafrost zone. Can cause complete mixture of site stratigraphy and archaeological components.

somatic: a term that refers to the body.

sorcery: the performance of certain magical rites for the purpose of harming other people.

sororate: a social custom under which a widower has the right to marry one of his deceased wife's sisters, and her kin are obliged to provide him with a new wife.

specialization: the limited range of activities in which a single individual is likely to be engaged.

specialized pastoralism: the adaptive strategy of exclusive reliance on animal husbandry.

specialized species: a species closely fit to a specific environment and able to tolerate little change in that environment.

specialized trait: a structure used basically for one function.

speciation: the evolutionary process that is said to occur when two previous subspecies (of the same species) are no longer capable of successful interbreeding; they are then two different species.

species: the largest natural population whose members are able to reproduce successfully among

speech community: a socially distinct group that develops a dialect; a variety of language that diverges from the national language in vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar.

sperm: a male gamete.

spermatogenesis: sperm production.

spheres of exchange: the modes of exchange-- reciprocity, redistribution, and market exchange-- that apply to particular goods or in particular situations.

spindle: a structure consisting of fibers radiating out from the centriole that functions in cell division.

spirit possession: the supposed control of a person's behavior by a supernatural spirit that has entered the body.

spokeshave: an artifact with a notch or concave edge, presumed to have been used in shaping wooden or bone shafts.

spontaneous generation: an old and incorrect idea that complex life forms could be spontaneously created from nonliving material.

stability: the ability of an ecosystem to return to equilibrium after disturbances.

stadia rod (also "surveyor's staff'): a long brightly painted rod, accurately calibrated in metric units (or feet and inches), used for obtaining elevations and stadia measurements of distance in mapping with a major surveying instrument.

standard deviation: a statistical measurement of the amount of variation in a series of determinations; the probability of the real number's falling within plus or minus one standard deviation is 67 percent.

standing wave technique: an acoustic method, similar to bosing, used in subsurface detection.

state: a term used to describe a social formation defined by distinct territorial boundedness, and characterized by strong central government in which the operation of political power is sanctioned by legitimate force. In cultural evolutionist models, it ranks second only to the empire as the most complex societal development stage.

statistical analysis: the application of probability theory to quantified descriptive data.

status: a position in a pattern of reciprocal behavior.

steatite: soapstone or talc; a soft gray to green stone used as a carving medium.

stela (pl. stelae): a free-standing carved stone monument.

step-trenching: an excavation method employed on very deep sites, such as Near Eastern tell sites, in which the excavation proceeds downwards in a series of gradually narrowing steps.

stereoscope: a simple optical device to allow the perception of a stereoscopic (or 3-dimensional) image from pairs of aerial photographs.

stereoscopic vision: visual perception of depth due to overlapping visual fields and various neurological features.

storage-pit (also called cache-pits): circular excavations usually less than 3 m in diameter assumed to have aboriginally functioned as storage "cellars".

strata: (1) depositional units or layers of sediment distinguished by composition or appearance. (singular: "stratum"), (2) individually sampled subareas in a "stratified-random" probabilistic sampling scheme.

stratification: the division of a society into groups that have varying degrees of access to resources and power.

stratification: the laying down or depositing of strata or layers (also called deposits) one above the other. A succession of layers should provide a relative chronological sequence, with the earliest at the bottom and the latest at the top.

stratified random sampling: a form of probabilistic sampling in which the region or site is divided into natural zones or strata such as cultivated land and forest; units ate then chosen by a random number procedure so as to give each zone a number of squares proportional to its area, thus overcoming the inherent bias in simple random sampling.

stratified sample: a sample obtained by the process of dividing a population into categories representing distinctive characteristics and then selecting a random sample from each category.

stratified society: a society in which extensive subpopulations are accorded differential treatment.

stratified systematic sampling: a form of probabilistic sampling which combines elements of (1) simple random sampling, (2) stratified random sampling, and (3) systematic sampling, in an effort to reduce sampling bias.

stratigraphy: the study and validation of stratification; the analysis in the vertical, time dimension, of a series of layers in the horizontal, space dimension. It is often used as a relative dating technique to assess the temporal sequence of artifact deposition.

stratosphere: the part of the atmosphere 20 to 50 kilometers (12 to 31 miles) above the earth's surface; the area where ozone forms.

structural functionalism: the theory that the central function of the various aspects of a society is to maintain the social structure--the society's pattern of social relations and institutions.

structural gene: a segment of DNA that codes for a polypeptide other than a regulator.

structuralist approaches: interpretations which stress that human actions ate guided by beliefs and symbolic concepts, and that underlying these ate structures of thought which find expression in various forms. The proper object of study is therefore to uncover the structures of thought and to study their influence in shaping the ideas in the minds of the human actors who created the archaeological record.

structured interview: an ethnographic data-gathering technique in which large numbers of respondents are asked a set of specific questions.

style: according to the art historian, Ernst Gombrich, style is "any distinctive and therefore recognizable way in which an act is performed and made." Archaeologists and anthropologists have defined "stylistic areas" as areal units representing shared ways of producing and decorating artifacts.

sub-bottom profiler: see underwater reconnaissance.

subcutaneous fat: the fat deposited under the skin.

subera: a division of an era. The Cenozoic is divided into two suberas, the Tertiary and Quatemary.

submetacentric chromosome: a chromosome in which the centromere lies to one side of the center, producing arms of unequal length.

subsistence pattern: the basic means by which a human group extracted and utilized energy from its environment.

subspecies: interfertile groups within a species that display significant differentiation among themselves.

substantivism: a school of economic anthropology that seeks to understand economic processes as the maintenance of an entire cultural order.

subsurface detection: a collective name lot a variety of remote sensing techniques operating at ground level, and including hosing (or bowsing), augering, magnetometer, and radar techniques.

supernatural beliefs: a set of beliefs found in all societies that transcend the natural, observable world.

superposition: the principle that under stable conditions strata on the bottom of a deposit were laid down first and hence are older than layers on top.

surface collection: archaeological materials obtained from the ground surface.

surface finish: in the study of ceramic artifacts, the mainly decorative outer elements of a vessel.

surface scatter: archaeological materials found distributed over the ground surface.

surface structure: the particular arrangement of words that we hear or read.

surface survey: two basic kinds can be identified: (1) unsystematic and (2) systematic. The former involves field-walking, i.e. scanning the ground along one's path and recording the location of artifacts and surface features. Systematic survey by comparison is less subjective and involves a grid system, such that the survey area is divided into sectors and these are walked systematically, thus making the recording of finds mote accurate.

survey area: the region within which archaeological sites are to be located.

surveying: (1) in archaeology, the process of locating archaeological sites. (2) more generally, the process of mapping and measuring points on the ground surface (e.g. "legal" or topographic surveying").

suspensory behavior: a form of locomotion and posture whereby animals suspend themselves underneath a branch.

sweating: the production of a fluid, sweat, by the sweat glands of the skin. The evaporation of the sweat from the skin leads to a cooling of the body.

symbol: something that can represent something distant from it in time and space.

symmetry analysis: a mathematical approach to the analysis of decorative style which claims that patterns can he divided into two distinct groups or symmetry classes: 17 classes for those patterns that repeat motifs horizontally, and 46 classes for those that repeat them horizontally and vertically. Such studies have suggested that the choice of motif arrangement within a particular culture is far from random.

sympatric species: different species that live in the same area but are prevented from successfully re-producing by a reproductive isolating mechanism.

symphyseal face: the surface of the pubis where one pubis joins the other at the pubic symphysis.

symplesiomorphic feature: see shared ancestral feature.

synapomorphic feature: see shared derived feature.

synapsids: the reptilian group from which the mammals ultimately emerged.

synchronic studies: rely on research that does not make use of or control for the effects of the passage of time.

synchronic: referring to phenomena considered at a single point in time; i.e. an approach which is not primarily concerned with change (cf. diachronic).

syndrome: a complex of symptoms related to a single cause.

synostosis: the joining of separate pieces of bone in human skeletons; the precise timing of such processes is an important indicator of age.

syntax: the arrangement of words into meaningful utterances.

synthetic theory of evolution: the theory of evolution that fuses Darwin's concept of natural selection with information from the fields of genetics, mathematics, embryology, paleontology, animal behavior, and other disciplines.

system: a series of interrelated parts wherein a change in one part brings about changes in all parts.

systematic sampling: a form of probabilistic sampling employing a grid of equally spaced locations; e.g. selecting every other square. This method of regular spacing runs the risk of missing (or hitting) every single example if the distribution itself is regularly spaced.

systematic survey: see surface survey.

systems thinking: a method of formal analysis in which the object of study is viewed as comprising distinct analytical sub-units. Thus in archaeology, it comprises a form of explanation in which a society or culture is seen through the interaction and interdependence of its component parts; these are referred to as system parameters, and may include such things as population size, settlement pattern, crop production, technology etc.

tactile pads: the tips of the fingers and toes of primates; area richly endowed by tactile nerve endings sensitive to touch.

taphonomy: the study of processes which have affected organic materials such as bone after death; it also involves the microscopic analysis of tooth-marks or cut marks to assess the effects of butchery or scavenging activities.

Tarsiidae: suborder of the order Primates consisting of the tarsiers.

taxon: a group of organisms at any level of the taxonomic hierarchy. The major taxa are the species and genus and the higher taxa, including the family, order, class, phylum, and kingdom.

taxonomy: the theory of classification.

Tay-Sachs disease: an enzyme deficiency of lipid metabolism inherited as a recessive; causes death in early childhood.

tectonic movements: displacements in the plates that make up the earth's crust, often responsible for the occurrence of raised beaches.

tectonic plate: a segment of the lithosphere.

tell: a Neat Eastern term that refers to a mound site formed through successive human occupation over a very long timespan.

telocentric chromosome: a chromosome in which the centromere is located at the very end of the chromosome.

temper: materials added to clay in the manufacture of ceramic artifacts, to prevent cracking during firing. Could include vegetal fibers, feathers, rock fragments, sand, or ground-up pot-sherds.

temporal isolation: see seasonal isolation.

temporalis: a muscle of chewing that arises on the jaw and inserts on the side of the skull.

temporomandibular joint: the joint formed at the point of articulation of the mandible and the base of the skull.

temporonuchal crest: a crest on the back of the skull, forming on the occipital and temporal bones.

tent-ring: a circle of rocks used to hold down the edges of an aboriginal tent (e.g. "tipi-rings").

tephra: volcanic ash. In the Mediterranean, for example, deep-sea coring produced evidence for the ash fall from the eruption of Theta, and its stratigraphic position provided important information in the construction of a relative chronology.

termite stick: a tool made and used by chimpanzees for collecting termites for food.

terms of address: the terms people use when they address their kin directly.

terms of reference: the terms by which people refer to their kin when they speak about them in the third person.

terrace: a fluvial terrace is a remnant of an earlier flood-plain isolated by down-cutting of the river, resulting in a step-like series of "flats" and scarps. Beach terraces are old ocean or lake beaches isolated by lowered water levels.

terrestrial quadrupedalism: see ground running and walking.

territory: an area that a group defends against other members of its own species.

tesseera: a small tablet (as of wood, bone, or ivory) used by the ancient Romans as a ticket, tally, voucher, or means of identification; or, a small piece (as of marble, glass, or tile) used in mosaic work.

test pit (also "test excavation"): a small exploratory "dig" designed to determine a site's depth, and contents prior to major excavation.

testosterone: a male sex hormone.

thalassemia: the absence or reduction of alpha- or beta-chain synthesis in hemoglobin. The homozygous condition (thalassemia major) is characterized by a high frequency of hemoglobin F and fatal anemia; the heterozygous condition (thalassemia minor) is highly variable but usually occurs with mild symptoms.

theism: belief in one or more gods of extrahuman origin.

theodolite (also "optical transit"): a transit with accurate optical readout of vertical and horizontal angles.

theory of acquired characteristics: the concept, popularized by Lamarck, that traits gained during a lifetime can then be passed on to the next generation by genetic means; considered invalid today.

theory: a step in the scientific method in which a statement is generated on the basis of highly confirmed hypotheses and is used to generalize about conditions not yet tested.

therian mammals: members of the subclass Theria; the "live-bearing" mammals, including the marsupials and placental mammals.

thermal prospection: a remote sensing method used in aerial reconnaissance. It is based on weak variations in temperature which can be found above buried structures whose thermal properties are different from those of their surroundings.

thermography: a non-photographic technique which uses thermal or heat sensors in aircraft to record the temperature of the soil surface. Variations in soil temperature can be the result of the presence of buried structures.

thermoluminescence dating (TL): a chronometric dating method based on the fact that some materials, when heated, give off a flash of light. The intensity of the light is proportional to the amount of radiation the sample has been exposed to and the length of time since the sample was heated. It has much in common with electron spin resonance (ESR).

Thiessen polygons: a formal method of describing settlement patterns based on territorial divisions centered on a single site; the polygons are created by drawing straight lines between pairs of neighboring sites, then at the mid-point along each of these lines, a second series of lines are drawn at right angles to the first. Linking the second series of lines creates the Thiessen polygons.

thin-section analysis: a technique whereby microscopic thin sections are cut from a stone object or potsherd and examined with a petrological microscope to determine the source of the material.

threat gesture: a physical activity used by one animal to threaten another animal. Some threat gestures are staring, shaking a branch, and lunging toward another animal.

Three Age System: a classification system devised by C.J. Thomsen for the sequence of technological periods (stone, bronze, and iron) in Old World prehistory. It established the principle that by classifying artifacts, one could produce a chronological ordering.

thymine: a pyrimidine found in RNA.

till: sediments laid down directly by glacial ice. Commonly consists of unsorted angular rock fragments mixed with clay.

tipi: a relatively large conical skin and pole tent used in the Plains area.

toilet claw: a claw found on the second toe of prosimians that functions in grooming.

tool: an object that appears to have been created for a specific purpose.

topographic map: a map which accurately depicts the physical features and relief of an area.

topography: the physical ground features of an area.

totem: a plant or animal whose name is adopted by a clan and that holds a special significance for its members, usually related to their mythical ancestry.

township: a square area, containing 36 sections; a major unit of the legal subdivision system.

trace element analysis: the use of chemical techniques, such as neutron activation analysis, or X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, for determining the incidence of trace elements in rocks. These methods are widely used in the identification of raw material sources for the production of stone tools.

tradition: a continuum of gradational culture change through time representing the unbroken development of a single culture.

trait: any discrete cultural element; or, one aspect of the phenotype.

trajectory: in systems thinking, this refers to the series of successive states through which the system proceeds over time. It may be said to represent the long-term behavior of the system.

transect: a linear sampling area.

transfer RNA (tRNA): within the ribosome, a form of RNA that transports amino acids into the positions coded in the mRNA.

transformation: a radiation change in morphology among homologous structures.

transformational grammar: Noam Chomsky's theory of linguistics, based on the fact that a single meaning may be expressed in different forms.

transformational rules: according to transformational grammar, the techniques by which deep structure is translated into surface structure.

transhumance: seasonal movement of livestock between upland and lowland pastures.

transit: a sophisticated optical surveying instrument similar to an alidade, except that it is mounted directly on a tripod, rather than resting on a plane

translocation: a form of chromosomal aberration in which segments of chromosomes become detached and reunite to other nonhomologous chromosomes.

travelers: hunter-gatherers who follow a regular yearly round, occupying a series of campsites for brief periods when a valued resource is available in the vicinity of each site (a logistical pattern).

tree-ring dating: a chronometric dating method in which the age of a wood sample is determined by counting the number of annual growth rings.

trend surface analysis: the aim of trend surface analysis is to highlight the main features of a geographic distribution by smoothing over some of the local irregularities. In this way, important trends can be isolated from the background "noise" more clearly.

tribe: a descent and kinship-based group in which subgroups are clearly linked to one another, with the potential of uniting a large number of local groups for common defense or warfare. Unlike bands, tribes are usually settled farmers, though they also include nomadic pastoral groups whose economy is based on exploitation of livestock. Individual communities tend to be integrated into the larger society through kinship ties.

true brachiation: a form of locomotion found in the lesser apes in which the body, suspended from above, is propelled by arm swinging as the animal rapidly moves hand-over-hand along a branch.

true breeding: showing the same traits without exception over many generations.

tuff: geological formation composed of compressed volcanic ash.

tundra: a type of landscape where the ground is frozen solid throughout most of the year but thaws slightly during the summer.

Tupaiidae: family of the order Insectivora that includes the tree shrews.

Turner's syndrome: a genetic disease characterized by forty-five chromosomes with a sex chromosome count of X-; phenotypically female, but sterile.

tuyere: a ceramic blowtube used in the process of smelting.

twin studies: comparisons of monozygotic twins to dizygotic twins for the purpose of estimating the degree of environmental versus genetic influence operating on a specific trait.

tympanic membrane: the eardrum.

type: a distinctive formal artifact class defined by the consistent clustering of attributes and restricted in space and time, e.g. the "Folsom Point" is a projectile point "type".

typology: the systematic organization of artifacts into types on the basis of shared attributes.

ultrasound: a method of taking a picture of the fetus using sound waves.

ulu: an Eskimo word for a relatively large, semi-lunate, side-mounted "woman's knife".

unconformity: the surface of a stratum that represents a break in the stratigraphic sequence.

underwater reconnaissance: geophysical methods of underwater survey include (1) a proton magnetometer towed behind a survey vessel, so as to detect iron and steel objects which distort the earth's magnetic field; (2) sidescan sonar that transmits sound waves in a fan-shaped beam to produce a graphic image of surface features on the sea-bed; (3) a sub-bottom profiler that emits sound pulses which bounce back from features and objects buried beneath the sea floor.

uniface: a stone artifact flaked only on one surface.

unifacial flaking: the removal of secondary flakes from only one surface of a stone nucleus.

uniformitarianism: the principle which states that physical forces working today to alter the earth were also in force and working in the same way in former times.

unilineal descent group: a kin group in which membership is inherited only through either the paternal or the maternal line, as the society dictates.

unilineal evolution: a pattern of cultural progress through a sequence of evolutionary stages; the basic premise of the early cultural evolutionists.

unstructured interview: an ethnographic data-gathering technique usually used in the early stages of one's fieldwork in which interviewees are asked to respond to broad, open-ended questions.

uracil: a pyrimidine found in RNA.

uranium series dating: a dating method based on the radioactive decay of isotopes of uranium. It has proved particularly useful for the period before 50,000 years ago, which lies outside the time range of radiocarbon dating.

urbanization: the proportionate rise in the number of people living in cities in comparison to the number living in rural areas.

urbanized society: a society in which a majority of people live in cities.

use-wear: polish, striations, breakage, or minor flaking which develop on a tool's edge during use. Microscopic examination and study of the wear may indicate the past function of tools.

utilized flake: a stone flake used for a tool without deliberate retouch, but exhibiting use-wear.

utilized material: pieces of stone that have been used without modification.

variable: any property that may be displayed in different forms.

varnas caste: groups in Hindu India associated with certain occupations.

varves: fine layers of alluvium sediment deposited in glacial lakes. Their annual deposition makes them a useful source of dating.

vasoconstriction: the constriction of the capillaries in the skin in response to cold temperatures.

vasodilation: the opening up of the capillaries of the skin in response to warm temperatures, thus increasing the flow of blood to the surface of the

ventral: the front or bottom side of an animal or artifact.

Venus figurines: small Upper Paleolithic statues characterized by exaggerated breasts and buttocks and very stylized heads, hands, and feet.

vertebrate: a member of the subphylum Vertebrate; possesses a bony spine or vertebral column.

vertical angle: in mapping, the angle of sight measured on the vertical plane.

vertical circle: with major surveying instruments, the graduated vertical table around which the sighting telescope rotates; used to measure the vertical angle.

vertical clinging and leaping: a method of locomotion in which the animal clings vertically to a branch and moves between branches by leaping vertically from one to another. The animal moves on the ground by hopping or moves bipedally.

vertical datum: a base measurement point from which all elevations are determined.

vertical distance: the measurement of distance (or elevations) on a true vertical plane.

vertical provenience: the vertical position of objects within a site determined in relation to a vertical datum or datum plane, as well as to the local ground surface.

Victoriapithecidae: family of Early and Middle Miocene Old World monkeys from north and east Africa.

volcanic ash: layers of airborne pumice resulting from violent volcanic eruptions. Provide valuable dating markers when found in sites.

water table: the level of water under the earth.

wealth: the accumulation of material objects that have value within a society.

weathering zone: in pedology, the depth to which soil processes are operational.

weathering: the natural chemical or physical alteration of an object or deposit through time.

weir: an aboriginal fish-trap based on a fence or barrier of stakes or rocks built across a stream.

welded tuff: a rock formed of consolidated pumice or volcanic ash. Occasionally used as a raw material for lithic artifacts.

Wheeler box-grid: an excavation technique developed by Mortimer Wheeler from the work of Pitt-Rivers, involving the retaining of intact baulks of earth between excavation grid squares, so that different layers can be correlated across the site in the vertical profiles.

white blood cell: see leukocyte.

Wisconsin(an) glaciation: the latest major episode of glacial advance in the Pleistocene of North America; from about 70,000 to 10,000 B.P.

witchcraft: use of religious ritual to control, exploit, or injure unsuspecting, or at least uncooperating, other persons.

workday: the culturally established number of hours that a person ideally spends at work each day.

world system: a term coined by the historian Wallerstein to designate an economic unit, articulated by trade networks extending far beyond the boundaries of individual political units (nation states), and linking them together in a larger functioning unit.

X chromosome: the larger of the two sex chromosomes. Normal females possess two X chromosomes; normal males possess one X and one Y chromosome.

X-linked: a term that refers to genes on the X chromosome.

X-ray diffraction analysis: a technique used in identifying minerals present in artifact raw materials; it can also be used in geomorphological contexts to identify particular clay minerals in sediments, and thus the specific source from which the sediment was derived.

X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF): a method used in the analysis of artifact composition, in which the sample is irradiated with a beam of X-rays which excite electrons associated with atoms on the surface.

XTENT modeling: a method of generating settlement hierarchy, that overcomes the limitations of both central place theory and Thiessen polygons; it assigns territories to centers based on their scale, assuming that the size of each center is directly proportional to its area of influence. Hypothetical political maps may thus be constructed from survey data.
Geostatistics and spatial analysis in biological anthropology
科学家首次拍到猩猩面对面性爱照片
Anthropologist: Investors need to understand the tribal nature of banking culture
Take care of the different national traditions of anthropology
Welcome to Anthropology, your second career
Urban anthropologist: "Recognize that people want to come to the big cities"
Anthropology 2.0: Rethinking Why and How "Information is Power."
American Anthropological Association opposes collaboration with the military
Anthropology: the great divide
My turn: Anthropology during wartime
Glossary Cultural Anthropology
A Glossary of Manitoba Prehistoric Archaeology
Anthropology Glossary
Origins and Development of Archaeology in China
Archaeological Glossary
Introduction to Cultural anthropology
Introduction to Anthropology
One Hundred Years of Physical Anthropology in China
Introduction to Physical Anthropology
what is Physical Anthropology
Contrast Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Psychology
what is Anthropology

[anthropology homepages] anthropology online,anthropology university,applied anthropology,biological anthropology,anthropology education,anthropology theory,current anthropology,economic anthropology,political anthropology,social anthropology,cultural anthropology,culture anthropology,historical anthropology,medical anthropology,visual anthropology,anthropology course,anthropologist