Unit 3 provided an overview of an archaeological project of an unusual size and scope—the research undertaken, since 1975, at the ancient Maya centre of Copán. However, regardless of the size of the investigation, all archaeological projects follow the same general process of research design. This unit provides an overview of archaeological research design, focusing on the definition of the problem, and the collection and analysis of data to address and resolve that problem.
After completing this unit, you should be able to
- describe the five phases of archaeological research.
- explain why an archaeological site is a sample, and define four types of samples used by archaeologists.
- identify and describe five features on which typologies are based.
- describe five dating methods used by archaeologists.
- describe four ways in which an archaeologist can determine the function of an artifact.
- describe three types of information derived from the analysis of plant and animal remains.
- discuss three reasons for analysing human burials.