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CHAPTER 2: How We Discover the Past
1. Archaeologists and paleoanthropologists rely on all of the following types of evidence to
discover the past except
2. The most common artifacts of the past are
a. wooden tools.
b. stone tools.
c. iron tools.
d. plastic tools.
3. Humans began using stone tools more than
a. five million years ago.
b. ten million years ago.
c. two and a half million years ago.
d. twelve million years ago.
4. _________ are simply holes dug by humans that are later filled with garbage or eroded soil.
b. Living floors
5. Humans began making ceramics about
a. 20,000 years ago.
b. 10,000 years ago.
c. 5,000 years ago.
d. 3,000 years ago.
6. Pollen found at an archaeological site is a good example of a(n)
7. Fossils are
b. particularly informative about human biological evolution.
d. both A and B.
8. Which of the following is NOT an example of a feature?
a. a building
b. a hearth
c. a midden
d. a stone axe
9. A midden is a
a. garbage dump.
d. none of the above
10. Sites are known and suspected locations of human activity in the past that contain
a. a record of that activity.
b. wealth beyond our dreams.
c. human buildings.
d. none of the above.
11. Which of the following create(s) sites?
a. volcanic activity
c. natural process through which soils are built up
d. all of the above
12. The study of site disturbance and destruction is called
b. remote sensing.
13. Pedestrian survey is
a. high tech.
b. low tech.
c. both A and B.
d. neither A or B.
14. The remote sensing technique that is based upon the fact that the earth has a strong
magnetic field that varies by what is beneath the ground is called
a. soil interface radar.
b. ground penetrating radar.
c. geomagnetic sensing.
15. Excavation has two goals: to find every scrap of evidence (or a statistically
representative sample) about the past that a given site holds and to
a. find the buried treasure there.
b. prove that evolution is a fact.
c. find the missing link.
d. record the horizontal and vertical location of that evidence with precision.
16. Compared with paleoanthropologists, archaeologists are more concerned with
17. The “Ice Man,” found in the Italian Alps was about _________ years old.
c. 2 million
18. The process of treating archaeological remains to stop or reverse decay and
deterioration is called
19. The earliest evidence archaeologists have of brewing dates it to
a. 6500-6000 B. C.
b. 1900-1950 A.D.
c. 3500-3100 B.C.
d. 10,000-9500 B.C.
20. Artifact analysis includes all of the following except
a. establishing typologies.
b. metric analysis.
c. discovering its use.
d. putting a monetary value on it.
21. Much of the evidence for primate evolution comes from
22. The two general categories of dating are absolute and
23. Radiocarbon has a half-life of ________ years.
24. _________ is used to measure how old a specimen or deposit is in years
25. Potassium-argon dating can be used to date samples from
a. relative dating.
b. absolute dating.
c. chronometric dating.
d. radiocarbon dating.
True – False
26. Peter N. Peregrine found strong evidence that cultural complexity has increased over the last
27. One problem with the K-Ar dating method is that dates must be taken on different samples.
28. A major goal of archaeology is describing what happened in the past.
29. The primary goal of archaeology since the 1950s is to test specific theories of human
evolution and behavior.
30. Archaeologists have very little interest in studying agriculture.
31. The idea that the environment and how humans use it actively shapes cultures and mostly
explains cultural variability became prominent in archaeology in the 1920s.
32. Within anthropology, archaeology’s primary role is to understand and identify general trends
in biological and cultural evolution.
33. Sites are ecofacts.
34. Anything made or modified by humans is an artifact.
35. Sites contain remnants of human activity.
36. All sites are stratified.
37. Remote sensing refers to the process of archaeologists walking about a site.
38. Excavation leads to no harm to the site.
39. Patricia McAnany used contemporary Mayan behavior to help find evidence of ancient
Mayan religious practices.
40. Reconstruction refers to rebuilding the material from its remains.
41. Reconstruction is an easy process.
42. Cheryl Claassen is opposed to using a feminist perspective in archaeology.
43. Archaeologists have detailed evidence on all 6,000 species of primates that have ever existed.
44. Paleoanthropologists can tell much about an animal’s posture from skeletal fragments.
45. Context is not a major concern of archaeologists.
46. List and discuss the differences between relative and absolute dating techniques.
47. List and compare the four kinds of evidence that archaeologists and
paleoanthropologists use in learning about the past.
48. What can archaeologists learn from examining ceramics?
49. List and discuss the ways in which sites are created.
50. How does an archaeologist decide what method or methods of dating to use in
51. Discuss the ways in which archaeologists and paleoanthropologists find sites. What
are the advantages of each general procedure?
52. What do archaeologists learn from artifacts and how do they learn these things?
53. What can paleoanthropologists learn from fossils? How do they learn these things?
54. How is the study of features different from the study of fossils, artifacts and
Multiple Choice True – False
1. d 15 26. True 30
2. b 15 27. True 28
3. c 15 28. True 29
4. d 16 29. True 29
5. b 15 30. False 29
6. b 16 31. False 29
7. d 16 32. True 29
8. d 16 33. False 16
9. a 17 34. True 15
10. a 17 35. True 17
11. d 17 36. False 17
12. a 17 37. False 18
13. b 18 38. False 18
14. c 18 39. True 19
15. d 18 40. True 19
16. a 19 41. False 19
17. a 19 42. False 23
18. a 19 43. False 16
19. c 21 44. True 22
20. d 19-21 45. False 25
21. b 22
22. a 25
23. b 25
24. c 25
25. a 28