• Home
  • Archaeology
  • What possible meanings does measure have in Archaeology and how can it be applied ?>>

What possible meanings does measure have in Archaeology and how can it be applied ?>>

  • Category:
    Archaeology
  • Document type:
    Essay
  • Level:
    High School
  • Page:
    3
  • Words:
    2130

3Meaning of Measure to Archeologist

Meaning of Measure to Archeologist

In reference to Aycock (2016, pg. 12) the term measure contains many meanings with regards to archaeology. To begin with, in relation to time and context, it is a term that is primary used in calibration of the artefacts and fossils that is found at the site. As such this the remains collected at the sights might not have any sense of time or context. Hence, they require an analysis in order to place them in a particular context so as to develop their meaning with regards to time. In this light, therefore, a process of calibration proceeds whereby one known quantity, which is the fossil identified, is evaluated using a device in order determine the specific time it existed (Colombini, & Modugno, 2009). None the less, these operations are performed under specified conditions that have already been passed by the board of International Bureau of Weights and Measures. If they do not follow the specific procedure during the process then the results are regarded to as null. These procedures cab be classified as a two wheeled procedure. To begin with, one has to establish a clear relationship between the values of the quantity and the measurement uncertainties using a calibrated instruments or in other cases a secondary standard. Secondly, the results from the above procedures are then used to get the accurate measurement of the artifact by comparing it to the results from the indicators.

Therefore, in reference to (Queen’s University Belfast, 2010) we could strongly agree that the term measure means giving an artefact a sense of time as well as placing it in a particular context. One way through which this is evident is through consideration of activities carried out by archaeologists. They use Radio Carbon dating techniques in the calibration of a fossil by considering its isotope’s half-life. They believe that every living thing contains some radio carbon in them and once they die the radiocarbon begins to decrease following a systematic pattern. They, therefore, use this concept of Radio carbon to measure the approximate the time of the individual lived or the artefact existed. The rate of Radiocarbon is different in every organism depending on how long it existed. As a result, therefore, they are able to get a measure of the time without confusing recent organisms as well as older organisms. Evidently, this information is useful in helping to picture the way in which measure is used in regards to archaeology.

Moreover, they are able to place similar organism according to the period in which they existed (Aycock, 2016, pg 5). Without this knowledge, we cannot be able to predict their activities or understand the revolution of man throughout the centauries. For example, by dating artefacts like tools and pottery, we are able to comprehend the revolution if the agricultural activities as well as the industrialization process. What more is that, by unveiling their living conditions such as caves and drawings, we are able to predict the kind of climate they were experiencing at specific times of the history. We are also able to understand the cultural activities that existed at that particular period, for example, hunting and gathering, by examining their artefacts used.

The term measure is also used by archaeologists to give a sense of the length of particular material obtained during an excavation process or the extent to which they did the excavation (Piccini & Grave-Brown, 2013). For example, the archaeologist uses layers of soil to determine the culture of a particular community. The profile of a certain layer is able to tell to what extent the culture explored the environment. In order to get more information, they make a transition to another layer at an arbitrary depth of around 10 cm. The layers are excavated using specific measurements. There is a set measure of length as well as the depth that it is supposed to follow in order to get reliable information. As such measure is very significant in relation to the length and depth in excavating sites.

Grahame, (2012), has outlined specific units used to measure the length by archaeologist in the past. By determining the length, an object has we are able to understand various activities they conducted. The measurements of length in archaeology have been assigned several units that include;

Inch: It is approximated to 0.9144 meters.

Perch: It encompasses an equivalence of 20 foot-lengths of a standard person.

Cubit: It was defined as the length between the tips of a finger of an average man to their elbow. This is a proximate of 28 inches in general.

Span: This is used to refer to the width of a person’s hand when it is spread out. It is equivalent to around 9 inches.

Palm: This unit of measure entailed the length of a man’s palm with an exclusion of the thumb.

Hand: This unit of measure is equivalent to 4 inches and it was determined mainly by measuring four thumbs.

All this units of measurements have been used by archaeologist to determine the exact length of an object. Nevertheless, in modern times they have used units such as millimetres, centimetres, meters or kilometres in determining the vertical or horizontal length as well as its depth or breadth of an item as describes by (Grahame, 2012).

The term measure is also used in relation to the weight an object has to determine the total mass as cited byBanning, (2008. pg. 93). For example remains of fossils are weighed using standard weighing scales to determine the exact mass they have which can then be used to determine the organic content it has, and how long it has existed. For example bones of human beings and animals as well, are measured to determine the exact time through which they existed. Recent bones weight much heavier unlike those that existed a long time ago. This is because those that existed in recent times have a higher mass of organic content unlike those that existed a long time ago. This is due to the organic components decreasing over time.

According to Selvarkumar (2010, pg. 468), measure has many ways that it could be applied in the contemporary society as it is both concrete as well as abstract. This means that the theoretical knowledge acquired is put in practise in the actual world. Theoretically, the abstractness of archaeology is revealed when measuring things or events is to place them in particular context upon which they occurred. In this light, they are able to develop a specific pattern that they observe from the events or the findings they get from analysing the material remains. With knowledge, it is possible to project future happenings and as such be prepared prior their happenings or alternatively prevent them all together.

Evidently, this concept can be applied practically in weather forecasting as cited by (Selvarkumar, 2010, pg. 470). The results obtained by the archaeologists regarding the transitions of the climatic condition over the history could help us in predicting future climatic conditions. This is in relation to prolonged weather patterns such as long seasons of rains leading to floods or draught leading to famine. It could also help us to predict other weather catastrophes such as earthquakes, eruptions of volcanoes or even collapse of ocean floors. However, one weakness of this stance is inability for them to bring to an end such unpleasant weather patterns. The much they can do is just issue warnings to the people.

Never the less their ability to predict the weather acts as an advantage (Morley, & Renfrew, 2010). The archaeologists measure the duration upon which the occurrences took place and in turn develop a specific pattern as. They are able to determine the extent to which these events affected the people living in that area, and how they changed the weather patterns. Subsequently, this information is used to make future predictions of such happenings in the future. Sometimes people are required to evacuate some regions that are bound to experience uncontrollable weather occurrences. In some regions, the can be advised to change the building structure to establish stronger buildings that can withhold some events such as a light earthquakes and weak tornados. All this helps in prevention of deaths that could have resulted if this information is not discovered and passed down to the right authorities.

In some cases, the information can be used to make predictions the in agricultural sector that can bring about revolution in the agricultural sectors (Douglas, 2011, pg. 2). This is strengthened by the fact that the archaeologists could reconstruct information regarding the agricultural activities of people at a particular period of time. This is achieved through observation of the tools they used and how they carried it out as demonstrated by some drawings on the wall in caves. From there, they can determine what limitations the people encountered and device ways of correcting them. For example, the can determine the depth in which farmers ploughed their land and that time and determine to what depth farmers can now plough their lands in order to achieve high yields and more so avert pests. This can bring a whole revolution to the agricultural industries. Moreover, with predictions of weather patterns, farmers are aware on which seasons are suitable for which crops and which seasons should they not plant crops.

With the knowledge acquired of agricultural practices, a lot of improvement has occurred in this section as according to(Douglas, 2011, pg. 14). None the less, there are still some instances which have worked as limitations for ensuring efficient agricultural. The archaeologist have not aided in construction of better tools for farming for example, subsistent farmers still use tools such as spades at home. As such the archaeologist should develop lighter tools for farming. For example, to replaces ox-driven tools, that can come up with better tools that are both necessary locomotives and weigh less that can be used in small pieces of land. This can bring about revolution in the agricultural industry. Moreover, will cater for small scale farmers whose contribution can improve the current state of the economy of the country.

In regards to building and structures, better and more efficient lengths can be designed with incorporation of various designs. According to Selvarkumar, (2010, pg. 472), archaeologists are able to reconstruct measures of buildings that existed a long time ago and did not collapse during harsh weather conditions. They could take the exact measure the building was and develop ways of constructing even better structure for the contemporary society with that knowledge. . This is in regards to the materials used to construct the building as well as its design. This can help to prevent death cases that have resulted to collapse of buildings in cases of earthquakes and other weather conditions. Moreover it will help to push the human limits that have not been explored before and as such raise the living standards. For example, a tall building can entail many businesses as well as accommodate a larger number of people. Many tall buildings have been established over the periods of time but a good number of them have collapsed after a while due to several factors. With a reconstruction of archaeological facts, we can be able to construct even better taller buildings that can withstand harsh events. However, attaining this could be a challenge as many people would choose to adopt dubious ways instead of following the right procedures since it might be expensive.

In summary, therefore, the term measure has a lot of significance primary because they help develop a sense of length, weight and context of a particular group of people. With this knowledge we are able to explore their activities and develop patterns which help us in making future predictions. This is very important in revolutionizing several things in the contemporary society and creating a ground for better future. Therefore, it improves not only the socio-cultural aspects of our lives but the economic as well.

Works Cited

Aycock, J., 2016. Retrogame Archeology 1–15.

Banning, E. E,. 2008. Quantification: Abundance and Other Measures in Archaeology93-115

: Chichester, West Sussex: WileyOrganic mass spectrometry in art and archaeologyColombini, M. P., & Modugno, F,. (2009).

Douglas, T, 2011. The Origins of Agriculture: New Data, New Ideas 1-12

Grahame J., 2012. Understanding Weights and Measures in Archaeology

. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. archaeology of measurement: comprehending Heaven, Earth and time in ancient societiesMorley, I., & Renfrew, C, (2010). The

The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World Oxford: Oxford University Press .Piccini & Grave-Brown,. (2013)

Selvarkumar, V, 2010. The use and relevance of archaeology in the post-modern world: views from India 468-480

Queen’s University Belfast,. 2010. Archaeological ‘time machine; greatly improves accuracy of early radiocarbon dating