Group Title: Olasee Davis articles
Title: Archaeology a lot more than digging around the dirt
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA01300919/00158
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Title: Archaeology a lot more than digging around the dirt
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Davis, Olasee
Publication Date: September 26, 1997
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Bibliographic ID: CA01300919
Volume ID: VID00158
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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Island Life The Daly New, Friday, September 26,1997 1



Archaeology alot more than digging around in the dirt
I was stopped on the streets and However, it is difficult to find site. so many methods archaeologists
my office phone rang off the hook something in our surrounding envi- Flora remains also are one of the take into account when they are
about the article last week entitled, ronment which is one way or anoth- Olasee most perishable artifacts for archae- conducting an archaeological
"Virgin Islands archaeological his- er not some type of artifact. For a Davis ologists. Sometimes other types of research. Other discipline like histo-
tory is disappearing." example, somebody might find a artifacts contains floral evidence rians, anthropologists, ecologists,
Many people did not realize, they piece of bone in the woods and con- such as pottery where seeds may be and sociologists work together to
say how important preservation is sider its an artifact. Nevertheless, 6il mit imbedded purposely or accidentally help reconstruct the history of a
to the archaeological history of people in ancient times made pro- in the pot. Soils site are also an particular culture.
these islands. I do not know how found changes in their natural sur- important category of artifact They You see, archaeology is not just
sincere people are about what they roundings. to categorize information for the might find chemical in soil. Past digging in the dirt, but telling the
say about the preservation of our These changes may come about purpose f data collection, analysis human waste for example can history of a people who probably
cultural archaeological history. by stone tool and pottery which are and publication increase the calcium, phosphorus, we would not know anything about.
All I know is it's important to artifacts. The following categories are and nitrogen content of the site. Olasee Davis, who has a master
protect the people of the Virgin By definition these materials are universal even though there are By all means, the different type ofscience degree in range manage-
Islands identity through the preser- interesting to archaeologists. The variation among archaeologists. of artifacts I mention are not limited meant and forestry ecology, is a St
vation of our culture and the envi- deforestation of Palestine historians Thesa findings are important intern to those mention above. There are Croix ecologist, activist and writer.
ronment. Since the article about the believe took place sometime around of what type of materials are used
disannearance of our archaeological the third millennium B.C. to build the structures. Burial


history in the Virgin Islands, I was
told about Victor Brady, a native
who for years tried to establish an
African museum in Fort Frederik on
St. Croix.
His interest and knowledge
about local archaeology and the
world is incredible. However, this
second article on archaeology
focuses on certain terms used in
archaeology and how other disci-
pline is important in telling the his-
tory of archaeological findings.
Some archaeologists define
archaeology as the reconstruction of
past life and the arrangement of
extinct cultures into a historical
chronological sequence. Others
define archaeology as the science of
past cultures. In archaeology, we
hear the term artifacts. What is an
artifact? Artifacts may be defined as
the objects that were made, used, or
modified by human activities.


This change *of forest environ-
ment may have been accomplished
by the people of the early Bronze
Age who cleared the land for agri-
culture.
Scholars believe as the land-
scape in Palestine changed. Erosion
becomes a serious problem thus
contributing to the sudden decline
of urban life in the last century of
the early Bronze Age people in
Palestine. The early Bronze Age
people have been dead for millenni-
ums. But they left behind them a
permattent visible artifacts of their
cultural activities.
As an above example, it matter a
great deal how one defines the term
artifact because archaeologists usu-
ally collect what they considered to
be artifactual materials.
Because there are all sorts of
things in archaeological findings to
consider, a system was developed


grounds or grave yards are extreme-
ly important artfacts of past cultur-
al activities.
These artifacts can tell a lot
about the people who inhabited the
area.
Also, there are materials associ-
ated with burials like weapons
imbedded in victims. Fauna is also
considered an artifact There might
be remains of animal .bones in a
grave for a particular purpose such
as for a ritual. Or animals found in
graves could be a source of food for.
that particular culture.
For example, the burial ground
at the Tutom Mall site on St Thomas,
turtle shells were found next to
bones. Flora is another important
artifact for archaeological studies.
In this case, a botanist will work
with archaeologists to determine
what type of seeds, pollens or other
plant materials might be found on




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