Archaeology Glossary Terms
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Archaeology glossary is a comprehensive guide which provides meanings of popular terminology used in archaeology. It is particularly a valuable source for the people who term themselves as beginners in the field of archaeology.

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alidade   an optical surveying instrument used in conjunction with a plane-table and stadia-rod to produce detailed large-scale topographic maps.
alloying   a technique involving the mixing of two or more metals to create an entirely new material, e.g. the fusion of copper and tin to make bronze.
alluvial fan   a cone-shaped deposit of sediments generally formed where a mountain stream discharges onto a level surface. Alluvial fan deposits are among the most common surficial sediments in mountainous terrain.
alluvium   sediment (mud, sand, and gravel) laid down by flowing water. The largest particles (sand and gravel) tend to accumulate within the channel itself. Particles of clay, silt, and fine sand are small enough to be suspended in flowing water. When the stream overflows its banks, these particles can be distributed across the valley floor. These overbank or flood deposits are the most common contexts in which buried archaeological sites are found. Stream valley floors are underlain by deposits of and o
Alternate   When used in reference to a flaked projectile or tool, alternate implies the opposite face of opposing edges was flaked.
altimeter   a barometric device for determining elevations above sea-level.
altithermal   a postulated climatic period characterized by warmer and/or drier conditions approximately 4,000-8,000 years ago.
amino-acid racemization   a method used in the dating of both human and animal bone. Its special significance is that with a small sample (10g) it can be applied to material up to 100,000 years old, i.e. beyond the time range of radiocarbon dating.
ammonite   A coiled, chambered fossil shell of a cephalopod mollusk of the extinct order Ammonoidea.
amoeba   A microscopic, one-celled animal consisting of a naked mass of protoplasm.
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