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Principles of Archaeology - journal article review Essay Example

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Principles of Archaeology - journal article review

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Data from excavations at the site from between 2004 and 2007 was used, both large-scale and micromorphological. The large-scale results were used to indicate the underlying architecture of the village, as well as the architecture of the individual structures and their layout. Excavation also found paved grain silos from the village. Micromorphology samples were taken from the buildings identified from the excavation. These samples were analysed using polarising petrographic microscopes at both the University of Reading, UK and the University of Toronto, Canada.The main argument of the paper is that the micromorphology of the site accounts for the differences in architecture found between the buildings. Instead of assuming that these differences provide evidence of different living styles (for example, between socio-economic classes) the micromorphology provides evidence of ‘dung spherulites and some scattered reed phytoliths’ (p1128), commonly associated with animal usage of an area. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that the differences in size and shape between the major courtyards appears to be linked to differences in function of the rooms, although there is less data given to suggest this difference amongst the human accommodation buildings.The paper also draws upon other findings to hypothesize that the animals kept in these round structures may have been kept for milk and cheese. To gain milk and cheese from the animals, it is necessary to limit the suckling, so the presence of multiple structures may indicate that this indeed was the case. Additionally, the presence of a separate enclosed area may represent a milking facility through which to provide these substances to the community. Micromorphology also identified that the majority of animals kept on the site were sheep and goats, which historical evidence supports the use of for milk and secondary products.There are elements of post-processual archaeology behind this work in that it advocates a rigorous use of scientific method to identify the use of the various types of architecture identified, but it does suggest that there may be some subjectivity in the interpretation. For example, comparisons are made by the site at Tel Tsaf and ‘well-excavated, published sites from northern Syria and Mesopotamia’ (p1125) but the use of such comparisons is cautioned because there are differences between the sites. Hubbard (2010) does make interpretations

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