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In academic, historical, and archaeological circles, A. Dates are determined by a variety of processes, including chemical analyses (as in radiocarbon dating and thermoluminescence), data correlation (as in dendrochronology), and a variety of other tests. Acheulean - A stone tool industry, in use from about 1.6 million years ago until 125,000 years ago.
- "Abbreviation for the term Anno Domini Nostri Jesu Christi (or simply Anno Domini) which means ""in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ."" Years are counted from the traditionally recognized year of the birth of Jesus. E.)." Absolute Dating - Collective term for techniques that assign specific dates or date ranges, in calendar years, to artifacts and other archaeological finds.
All the sub-disciplines study aspects of past or present humans.
Archaeologists generally study the physical and material remains of ancient societies, while cultural anthropologists study living cultures.
Aerial Photography - The various techniques of taking photographs of natural or cultural features from the air, using balloons, airplanes, satellites, and other sources, in order to study the features in their entirety from a top-down (bird's eye) view.
Aerial Reconnaissance - The technique of searching for sites and features, both cultural and natural, from the air, often using aerial photography or the human eye.
Artifact - A portable object manufactured, modified, or used by humans. Years are counted back from the traditionally recognized year of Christ's birth. In antiquity, chert was one of the universally preferred materials for making stone tools (obsidian was another).
Assemblage - A group of artifacts found within the same archaeological context (locus, matrix, stratum). In academic, historical, and archaeological circles, this term is now generally replaced by Before Common Era (B. Chipped stone tool - Stone tool made by striking a stone (core or preform) with another stone (hammerstone) or other hard material (such as antler).
Aristocracy - A governing body of upper class citizens or the system of government in which aristocrats (upper class citizens) have controlling power. Bulbar depression - A depression left on the core (where a flake's bulb of percussion was attached) when a blade or flake was struck off. Ceramics - Objects, often pottery, made of fired or baked clay.
In an aristocracy people are generally born into distinct social classes and there is little or no upward mobility. Chert - A fine-grained sedimentary rock, similar to flint, that is white, pinkish, brown, gray, or blue-gray in color.
Many ancient peoples, such as the Egyptians living along the Nile, depended on annual floods and alluvial deposits to replenish the soils they were farming.
Alluvial soils are usually nutrient-rich and good for agriculture.
In the New World the term refers to a period when permanent settlements were becoming more common and human groups were making the transition from hunting-and-gathering to agriculture. Bronze Age - A prehistoric period in the Old World, dating roughly from 3000-1000 B. E, defined by the widespread use of bronze as a material for tools, weapons, and ornaments. The lids were usually modeled to represent animal-headed gods or the heads of important people.