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By Paul Bahn

Who stated that during brief we will now not do what's valuable? this can be a publication extremely simple, very brief yet have been we will be able to research the fundamentals of Archaeology, and comprehend what a superb paintings this can be.

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Extra resources for Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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Where health is concerned, human remains can be a mine of information. For example, Repetitive Strain Injury is by no means a new phenomenon, and facets on various bones from ancient skeletons can be linked with stresses caused by crouching, load-carrying, or grinding grain. Most afflictions that lead to death leave no trace on bone, but where soft tissue has survived palaeopathology (the study of ancient disease) can reveal a great deal. Almost all Egyptian mummies 38 contained parasites which caused amoebic dysentery and bilharzia, and mummies in the New World had whipworm and roundworm eggs.

Teeth are made of two of the hardest tissues in the body, so they usually survive in good condition. Microscopic examination of their surfaces reveals abrasions and scratches which can be related to meat or vegetation in the diet. As with studies of microwear on tools (p. 26), we know from present-day specimens – in this case not experimental replicas but living people such as meat-eating Eskimos or vegetarian Melanesians – what kind of traces are left by different diets, so archaeological examples can be compared with these with some confidence.

E. that their behaviour, tastes, tolerances of climate and environment or soil and humidity have always 15 The Origins and Development of Archaeology in the first place. been the same and can therefore be reliably predicted when reconstructing the past. These are enormous assumptions to make, especially as we can never be sure they are justified, but they are crucial because without them archaeology simply could not function. If we cannot guess with some accuracy how humans in the past would have reacted in a given set of circumstances, we might as well give up the Archaeology challenge and become anthropologists – it’s far less of a headache.

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