Lucy belonged to genus Australopithecus and the species afarensis, but she also belonged to the the hominid family (hominidae) to which humans belong. Although humans are of the family hominidae, we are not of Lucy's genus or species. We are Homo sapiens. How then, can Lucy be our ancient ancestor if we belong to a different genus and species? It's because humans and Lucy share a taxonomy up to the point of genus and species; there are many shared characteristics, but there are differences and these differences place humans in our own genus and species.
This presentation offers an overview of the developing concept of The Anthropocene -- a term coined to describe our current geological epoch, in which human impact on the planet will leave a permanent trace.
Help students learn about archaeological methods and how archaeological interpretations are made. It is organized around questions that include: What is archeology? What do archaeologists do? How do archaeologists determine how old things are?
In this Science NetLinks lesson, students determine what artifacts are, how they are discovered, and what information can be learned from them. They also learn how artifacts are initially buried and then excavated. This lesson is one of a two-part series on archaeology.
In this Science NetLinks lesson, students hypothesize how people lived during a certain time, based on archaeological sites and artifacts. This lesson puts students in the role of archaeologist, using the mysterious city of Catalhoyuk to explore how artifacts can give us clues to how people once lived. Students will explore an archaeological mystery that demonstrates the importance of context in learning from artifacts. Factors such as the artifact's location, its proximity to other artifacts, and the number of similar artifacts found can provide strong clues about the possible purpose and origins of the artifact, as well as the physical characteristics and behaviors of people responsible for creating it. This lesson is the second of a two-part series on archaeology.
The task requires the student to use logarithms to solve an exponential equation in the realistic context of carbon dating, important in archaeology and geology, among other places. Students should be guided to recognize the use of the natural logarithm when the exponential function has the given base of e, as in this problem. Note that the purpose of this task is algebraic in nature -- closely related tasks exist which approach similar problems from numerical or graphical stances.
Decoding an ancient cave bear. A two-ton, thirteen-foot cave bear, extinct for ten thousand years, has just experienced a rebirth of sorts. From a tooth and a bone, scientists have recovered its entire genetic code.Eddy Rubin, director of the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute, says finding genuine cave bear DNA was like looking for a needle in a haystack. The haystack were all the other organisms that were living in the bones and in the tooth of this ancient creature. And the needle was the little bit of the ancient creature's genome DNA, or genes.They used state-of-the-art computer technology to separate the bear genes from the clutter. Jurassic Park fans should note that they can't clone a new cave bear, nor can they recover DNA from creatures as old as the dinosaurs. But they do hope to reconstruct the genetic code of Neanderthals, our closest non-human relatives, to better understand how our own species evolved. This resource contains detailed text description of the research as well as likes for further inquiry.
Students learn about fossils what they are, how they are formed, and why scientists and engineers care about them.
This lesson will go beyond naming dinosaurs and give students a broad understanding of how we know about the great beasts. This lesson focuses on what we have learned and can learn from fossils. The follow-up lesson, Dinosaurs Fossils - Uncovering the Facts, explores what information can be discerned by comparing fossils to living organisms.
In Fossils and Dinosaurs, the first lesson of this two lesson series, students learned the differences between facts and ideas that are extrapolated from fossil evidence. This lesson allows students to go through an 'interview' with the remains of a Protoceratops. In preparation for the interview, students first brainstorm the questions they would like answers to, and then narrow their questions to those that can be answered by studying the Protoceratops fossils.
Our early human ancestors began migrating across the globe tens of thousands of years ago. Some left behind archaeological evidence of their travels. But as you'll hear in this Science Update, another record of where we come from and where we've been might be found right in our DNA.
offers educators Park Service resources that help teach about our nation's cultural heritage, and which look at how the NPS is protecting and preserving them. Subjects include archaeology, historic buildings and structures, mapping, military history, and national historic landmarks. The resources may be in the form of learning programs, case studies, lesson plans, teachers' handbooks, and more.
Between one and two million years ago, several different groups of ape-men roamed the plains of Africa. The only clues we have as to how they lived and evolved come from fossils they left behind. This Science Update tells us what some of those fossils reveal about the unusual diet of early hominids.
This OLogy activity gives kids a chance to test their investigative skills while learning about daily life for the Incas. Inca Investigation begins with an introduction to archaeologist Craig Morris and the ancient Inca city that his team excavated in the Andes mountains. Detailed directions are given for how to play Inca Investigation, which includes tips to help them better examine evidence. Each time they correctly identify a place, they are awarded an Inca Chronicle. They have the option of reading the chronicles online or printing their collection of chronicles.
Course readings and assignments for Introduction to Archaeology course. Readings are from the library ebook World Prehistory: a brief introduction by Brian Fagan and Nadia Durrani. Taylor and Francis 2016 9th ed. ISBN 9781315641133.
Introduces archaeology as the anthropological study of humans in the past and the present through the examination of cultural materials and human remains. Considers archaeological theories and methods and ethical issues related to cultural resource management and excavation. Examines systems of power and social justice related to ancient societies and compares them wit h similar systems and issues in contemporary societies from an anthropological perspective. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.
Intended Outcomes for the course
Upon completion of the course students should be able to:
Use an understanding of archaeological methods and theories to evaluate artifacts and other data.
Describe the impact of human beings on the environment over time and in different ecological settings.
Discuss ethical issues related to cultural resource management and the excavation and study of human remains associated with indigenous societies from an anthropological perspective.
Examine systems of power and social justice related to ancient societies and compare them with similar systems of power and privilege in contemporary societies from an anthropological perspective.
Take a virtual tour of the prehistoric caves at Lascaux, France. The discovery of Lascaux in 1940 opened a new page in the knowledge of prehistoric art and our origins. Monumental work, the cave continues to feed the imagination and move the new generations of the world. This website is intended to help understand the secrets of the artists who painted and engraved bestiary at Lascaux 19,000 years ago, and to present the current trends in scientific research on the painted caves.
Archeology offers the most tangible evidence of earlier civilizations. Although archeology has already provided invaluable information pertaining to the life styles and skills of the peoples from this region of West Africa, the archaeological record is still incomplete. The figurative sculptures featured in this resource furnish one part of the historical puzzle of this region. These handsome terracotta sculptures are from the Inland Niger Delta region near Djenne (pronounced JEH-nay; also spelled Jenne), one of several important trading cities that grew and developed during the Mali Empire.
An online technical assistance and distance learning effort covering all aspects of curation -- caring for archaeological collections such as objects, records, reports, and digital data -- wherever they may be (in the field, the archeologist's office, the lab, or a repository).