Archeologists use various forms of artifacts to estimate the time that a given site under study was occupied by men. Depending on the strata that a given artifact, usually made from pottery or iron, or bones one may almost accurately approximate the time that the site was occupied. Conversely, lack of artifacts during a given period may indicate that the site was unoccupied. However, the presence of a wall without any other artifact to help identify when it was build may indicate that the land was unoccupied and that the wall provides a terminus post quem for the period represented by the strata above it. Consequently, depending on the strata on which artifacts that indicate human occupation were found the archeologist may determine the period in history in which there was the human occupation or there was none. There are four major periods in history: Stone Age, Iron Age, Bronze Age, and Historical Age periods. However, for more accurate dating the historians classify these periods further into 17 other subgroups that may also be subdivided further. For example, the Paleolithic period of the Stone Age is further categorized into four: Lower Paleolithic, Middle Paleolithic, Upper Paleolithic, and Epipaleolithic. Therefore, depending on the location of the strata, the artifact was found in and the type of the soil found in the strata where there are no artifacts found then archeologists can reliably predict the period of occupancy of the land under study.
From the details of the artifacts, walls and the nature of the soil provided it is possible to identify the occupation periods of the case provided. The land was occupied during the modern period due to the presence of the coin and Pepsi can that provided details of 1943 and 1969 respectively. The brown soil in this context indicates that the land was not extensively used for agricultural purposes otherwise; it could have been darker due to the humus remnant that is dark in color. From the coins findings of the second stratum, it is clear that the land was occupied during the Ottoman period since the coins were dated as belonging to the 19th century. The light brown color is indicative of the fact that agriculture was not the main activity of the occupant since the soil is course thus not suitable for Agriculture. In addition, the soil is light brown in color, which shows that there was little humus applied to it meaning that the soil had not been added humus to make it fertile.
The land was also occupied during the Fatimid and the Mamluk period since there were the artifacts of bone buttons and pottery that were found in the stratum. The red soil also indicates that the likely activity of the occupants was farming due to the dark soil. Due to the presence of a grave in the third stratum, there is adequate evidence to indicate that the land was occupied during the Crusader and Ayyubid periods as evidenced by the carbon dating of the pottery, and human remains. Moreover strata 4 and 5 there was a human settlement in the land as evidenced by human remains, soil type, and pottery remains. The land was also occupied during the Early Roman period the as evidenced by the king Snarkon III and Queen Acerba coins. However, the land was not occupied during the Early Hellenistic period due to the absence of artifacts and the soil was gray in color indicating the lack of human activity. This might have been because of the King Snarkon I being ousted from power due to banning dogs from his kingdom. During the Middle Paleolithic Period, the land was occupied as evidenced by the presence of flint hand ax and several burned animal bones. However, there was a long period where there was no human occupation up to until the Late Bronze Age I when the evidence of dark soil and scarabs of imported scarab of Egyptian Pharaoh Ahsome appear in the 17th stratum. There were humans who had settled on the land during the early Bronze Age as evidenced by the Mesopotamian cylinder and pottery.
The analysis of the wall indicates the type of buildings and the floors that existed during the various times that people settled on the land. For example, wall 1 indicates that the walls of the palace belonging to King Doofus were made of brick. Therefore, it is accurate to assume that most of the walls were made out of brick during the Hellenistic period. During the Bronze Age, the buildings were constructed from stones as evidenced by the wall that had a nutshell in it.
The fact that the hand ax found in this stratum was dated between 70, 000 to 90,000 BC indicate that the period that the strata 15 belong to is within this range or slightly earlier. Therefore, it is safe to presume that this stratum represents the Iron Age. In particular, this stratum could have been in the Iron Age II B. Consequently, the terminus post quem is the Iron Age II B.
When there is a conflict between the approximate age of a strat and an artifact found in it the archeologist is faced with a complex problem to face. Most of the dating techniques only provide approximate values and depend on the condition of the artifact as well. On the other side, the strata may change due to earth deformation processes such as folding or faulting. However, the concept of terminus post quem may help to resolve the problem. For strata 17 the most likely terminus post quem is the Iron Age.
The logs could have belonged to the floor or the roof. However, due to the condition they were in, they most likely belonged to the floor since if they belonged to the roof they were more likely to be exposed to the elements of nature that could have caused them to decay faster. Therefore, I agree with Paisley that the logs belonged to the floor of the buildings that belonged to the age represented by stratum 22.
In conclusion, the archeology discipline uses the concept of strata, the artifacts, and the type of soil to determine the possibility of human occupation of a certain site. Presences of artifacts indicate that humans occupied the area and through carbon dating or some other suitable dating technique the period represented by the strata can be determined. In addition, the nature and color of the soil can help to identify if there was any human activity during the period. Besides, the soil excavated can also help in identifying the type of activity that was carried out in the area during the time.
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