Anthropology Glossary abductor

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geochronology: relative dating based on geological stratigraphy.

geographic coordinates: the world-wide system of latitude and longitude used to define the location of any point on the earth's surface.

geographical isolation: a form of reproductive isolation in which members of a population become separated from another population by geographical barriers that prevent the interchange of genes between the separated populations.

geographical race: a major division of humankind into large geographical areas wherein people resemble one another more closely than they resemble people in different geographical areas.

geomagnetic reversals: an aspect of archaeomagnetism relevant to the dating of the Lower Paleolithic, involving complete reversals in the earth's magnetic field.

geomorphology: a subdiscipline of geography, concerned with the study of the form and development of the landscape, it includes such specializations as sedimentology.

georadar: a technique used in ground reconnaissance, similar to soil-sounding radar, but with a much larger antenna and more extensive coverage.

gestation: the period of time from conception to birth

gift exchange: see reciprocity.

gill pouches: structures that form in the early human embryo and that are thought to be homologous to the gill slits of other chordates.

glacial lake: a lake formed of ponded glacial meltwater, or by the damming of a drainage system by glacial activity. A "pro-glacial" lake has at least one margin formed by glacial ice.

glacial maximum: the position and period of greatest advance of a glacier.

glacial striae: scratches on bedrock or loose stones caused by glacial abrasion. May be large or microscopic and could, in some cases, be mistaken for evidence of human activity.

glacial: a period of expansion of glacial ice.

globin: a constituent of the hemoglobin molecule that consists of a globin and four heme units. The globin consists of two alpha and two beta chains.

Gloger's rule: a rule which states that within the same species of endotherms, more heavily pigmented forms tend to be found near the equator and lighter forms away from the equator.

glottochronology: a controversial method of assessing the temporal divergence of two languages based on changes of vocabulary (lexicostatistics), and expressed as an arithmetic formula.

glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency: the lack of an enzyme of the red blood cell inherited as an X-linked recessive. Afflicted individuals develop severe anemia when in contact with the lava bean or certain antimalarial drugs.

gluteal musculature: three muscles of the pelvis that in monkeys and apes act as extensors of the thigh. In humans the gluteus maximus, the largest muscle of the human body, acts as an extensor, but the gluteus minimus and gluteus medius act as abductors.

gorge (also "gorge-hook"): a bone bipoint used to catch fish or waterfowl. After being swallowed, the hook will toggle in the stomach of the prey and cannot be drawn out.

gorget: a relatively large, flat, or gently curving object of polished stone, shell, or metal, with holes for suspension. Usually believed to have been worn as an ornament around the throat.

gout: abnormal uric acid metabolism inherited as a dominant with variable expression.

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.

granulation: the soldering of grains of metal to a background, usually of the same metal, and much used by the Etruscans.

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

grave goods (also: "grave inclusions", "mortuary goods", etc.): tools, weapons, food, or ceremonial objects placed with a burial.

graver: a small pointed or chisel-like stone tool used for incising or engraving.

great apes: the orangutan from Asia and the common chimpanzee, bonobo (pygmy chimpanzee), and gorilla from Africa.

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.

grid-system: a system of rectangular excavation or sampling units laid over a site by strings and stakes.

grooming cluster: a small group of closely related females that engage in a high degree of grooming.

grooming: in primates, the activity of going through the fur with hand or teeth to remove insects, dirt, twigs, dead skin, etc.; also acts as display of affection.

ground reconnaissance: a collective name for a wide variety of methods for identifying individual archaeological sites, including consultation of documentary sources, place-name evidence, local folklore, and legend, but primarily actual fieldwork.

ground running and walking: a form of quadrupedalism in which the animal walks on the ground using the hands and the feet; the palms of the hand are flat on the ground.

ground stone: stone artifacts shaped by sawing, grinding, and/or polishing with abrasive materials (e.g. "ground slate knives", "polished soapstone pendants" etc.).

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

growth hormone: a hormone produced by the pituitary gland; essential for normal growth.

growth plate: a narrow growth zone between the epiphysis and diaphysis of a bone.

growth: increase in the size or mass of an organism.

guanine: a purine found in the DNA and RNA molecules.

gun-flint: a square blade-segment of flint used to ignite the powder charge of a flint-lock gun. Often mistaken for an aboriginal artifact.

habitat isolation: see ecological isolation.

habitat: the specific area where a species lives.

habitation area: a generalized term for a house or tent floor, or the remains of any other type of aboriginal shelter.

habitation site: a location where a human group has lived and conducted normal daily activities for a significant period.

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.

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