Archeology, Archaeology

(a glossary of archeological terms particularly related to the field of research that can tell us about our origins and our remote past)

Literally, "sacred writing", an early form of writing in which the characters represent objects rather than sounds or syllables.
historic period
A period when writing systems existed.

The historic period in any particular region begins when writing systems emerge or when literate cultures come into contact with the regions preliterate inhabitants.

Any member, fossil or living, of the family of hominidae (modern humans and extinct immediate ancestors of humans).

A biological classification that refers to the group of animals (a family) which includes all great apes as well as humans.

Humans and their ancestors belong to this family.

Similar to or having human characteristics.

A biological taxonomic classification for the grouping of animals (a tribe) that include chimpanzees and all human species past and present.

Homo erectus
A fossil human form that lived from approximately two million years ago to 200,000 years ago.

Homo erectus is found over a large part of the Old World.

Homo habilis
The earliest representative of the genus Homo, this form of human appeared in Africa about two million years ago.
Homo sapiens
Genus and species to which modern humans as well as earlier extinct forms belong.

The first appearance of Homo sapiens may be as early as 400,000 years ago. The term is Latin for "wise man."

A food-procurement system based on the gathering of wild plants and the hunting of wild animals.

Hunter-gatherer groups tend to be small in size and mobile in order to take advantage of the seasonal availability of the resources they procure.

in situ
In place.

A description of artifacts in sites that are recovered by the archeologist in their original locations.

Indo-European languages
A huge family of related languages that stretches from northern India to Europe.
Iron Age
Period of the human past when iron was the dominant material used for tools.

Its date varies from place to place.

An ancient Greek vessel used for mixing water and wine.
Last Ice Age
Called the Würm, Weichsel, or Wisconsin glaciation depending where on earth it took place.

This period, which lasted from about 115,000 to 12,000 years ago, is characterized by massive glaciers that covered large portions of the northern hemisphere.

The lands next to the east coast of the Mediterranean.
A horizontal stone or wooden piece that supports the weight above a door or window.

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